Does MacBook Pro (2018) Fix the Reliability Problems with Butterfly Keyboards?


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Apple gave its MacBook Pro lineup a pretty major internal overhaul with faster Intel chips, more storage and RAM, and faster connectivity. Among the plethora of such changes, the company also mentioned that the 2018 MacBook Pro lineup comes with “an improved third-generation keyboard” which is quieter to type on.

Now, if you follow Apple news closely, you will know that a lot of criticism and lawsuits has been directed towards Apple for the first and second-generation butterfly keyboards found on the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro lineup.

While it is understandable that not everyone will like the typing experience on them, it is their poor reliability which is a major issue. As reports have highlighted, a single speck of dust is enough to stop the butterfly keyboards from working properly and lead to repair bill of upwards of $800. Even service tickets related to the keyboard at Apple’s service centers in the United States have spiked since the release of the 2016 MacBook Pro with butterfly keyboards.

There are other issues with the butterfly keyboard as well, including sticky keys, keycaps breaking off randomly, and more. Despite a vast number of complaints, Apple has not officially acknowledged any reliability issues with the butterfly keyboard on 2016 and 2017 MacBook models. The closest it has come to admitting its mistake is by launching a service program where it is offering free repairs for the keyboard for a period of five years.

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This brings us to the 2018 MacBook Pro lineup. While the new lineup might seem like a minor refresh on paper, Apple has made some major improvements internally for improved performance to ensure its new machines live up to the expectations of pro users. For the keyboard though, Apple says it is only quieter with no word on whether its reliability has improved or not.

However, there might be a reason behind this. The biggest complaint with the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro with regards to its keyboard was its poor reliability. Apple, however, says that it was the noise people complained about the most and that’s why keeping their feedback in mind, it has made the third-generation keyboard quieter. To make the keyboard quieter, Apple must have had to make some internal changes to it. And these changes could make an impact on the reliability of the keyboard as well.

So why is not Apple advertising the improved reliability of the keyboard?

It is because the company does not want to end up in legal trouble. Plenty of lawsuits have been filed against the company for the butterfly keyboard, and if it ends up stating in its marketing material that the third-generation keyboard is more reliable, it will end up inadvertently accepting that the previous two generations had some reliability issues.

The company did something similar when it made the switch from the first to the second generation of butterfly keyboards. The first generation keyboard found on the 2016 MacBook Pro lineup has more reliability issues compared to the second generation one. And when Apple announced the 2017 MacBook Pro refresh, it did not mention a word about improved reliability.

But then that’s just my theory. There are no reports out yet which indeed confirm that Apple has improved the reliability of its third-generation butterfly keyboard or not. Given that the new MacBook Pro has just gone on sale, we should see its teardown hit the web by next week and at that point, it should be clear if Apple has indeed improved the reliability of the third-generation keyboard or not.

What do you think? Are you willing to give the benefit of doubt to Apple here? Or will you wait until reports confirm that the 2018 MacBook Pro lineup does indeed come with more reliable butterfly keyboards?

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