2016 MacBook Pro Butterfly Keyboard Has Twice the Failure Rate of Older Models


A service data record collected by Apple Insider for the 2014 to 2017 MacBook Pros point to the new butterfly keyboard found on Apple’s revamped MacBook Pro lineup failing almost 2x times more in the first year of use compared to the 2014 or 2015 variant. 

Apple launched its revamped MacBook Pro lineup with a slimmer and sleeker design along with butterfly keyboards in 2016. In 2017, the company updated the lineup and switched to the second generation of its butterfly keyboard. That seems to have some difference in terms of improving their reliability, though the difference is not substantial enough.

The numbers obtained by Apple Insider from Apple Genius bars in the United States point to Apple receiving 118 keyboard related issues with the 2014 MacBook Pro when it first launched. The 2015 model had 114 service tickets related to the keyboard out of the total 1904 tickets.

For the 2016 MacBook Pro, Apple opened 165 keyboard related service requests out of the total 1402 warranty claims in the first year of its release which translates into 11.8 percent of claims just related to the keyboard. That’s almost double the number of service requests the company had received for keyboards on its previous MacBook Pro models.

The partial data for the 2017 MacBook Pro featuring the second-generation butterfly keyboard points to Apple opening 94 keyboard related service tickets out of the total 1161 service requests. This translates into 8.1 percent of service tickets related just to the keyboard, down from the 11.8 percent of the 2016 MacBook Pro model.

What’s even worse is the fact that the butterfly board is expensive to repair. Once your MacBook Pro is out of warranty, you will have to spend $700 or higher to repair the keyboard even if you break one key. This is because you will have to get the entire keyboard assembly replaced which is an expensive process.

Our Take

Apple’s butterfly keyboard has received a lot of criticism from a lot of long-term MacBook users. Their reliability has been a key pain point for many, with many users having to take their laptop in for keyboard related repair multiple time over the years. If you are a 2016 MacBook Pro owner, you should definitely be worried about the reliability of the keyboard which can turn out to be very expensive once the warranty of your MacBook expires.

The poor reliability of the keyboard has also let to a lot of users buying the 2015 MacBook Pro model which does not feature the butterfly keyboard mechanism. And as a bonus, it even features USB-A ports so you don’t have to live the dongle life.

[Via Apple Insider]