Apple Admits, and Apologizes for, a ‘Small Number’ of Owners Experiencing Issues With 3rd-Generation Butterfly Keyboard

2018 MacBook Pro keyboard teardown sneak peek

When Apple launched the third-generation butterfly keyboard with the 2018 MacBook Pro, the company did not, at the time, confirm it was meant to address any reliability issues that had cropped up with the first- or second-generation butterfly keyboards.

However, it was quickly discovered that a specific membrane was added to the design of the newest butterfly keyboard, which many hypothesized was designed to help keep debris from getting under the keys. Apple may not have been admitting anything at the time, but it sure looked like the company was at least trying to relieve the pressure. But it looks like the butterfly keyboard design may just be an issue in general, as revealed by a new report from The Wall Street Journal.

Interestingly, an Apple spokesperson commented on the publication’s story, and not only admits that a “small number” of MacBook owners are still experiencing issues with the third-generation butterfly keyboard, but also apologizes for that issue as well. In the same statement, though, the spokesperson says that a lot of people are perfectly happy with the new keyboard:

“We are aware that a small number of users are having issues with their third-generation butterfly keyboard and for that we are sorry. The vast majority of Mac notebook customers are having a positive experience with the new keyboard.”

Apple introduced the butterfly keyboard with the 2015 MacBook. Since then, Apple has introduced two new versions of the keyboard but the reliability issues haven’t disappeared. And, as mentioned above, despite the fact that Apple made some design changes to address those problems, it looks like a lot of folks are still having issues.

Many people expected Apple to drop the butterfly keyboard design before the latest MacBook Pro refresh, but that obviously didn’t happen as the company doubled down on the design decision with that lineup. Apple, for its part, does have a keyboard repair program for the butterfly keyboard, but, at least for right now, the third-generation design is not covered by it. If you want to know how to get your keyboard repaired through the program, check this link.

Our Take

Well, it’s surprising to see Apple apologizing for the issue altogether, maybe it’s a step in the right direction. I’m still using a 2016 MacBook’s butterfly keyboard and while I can get by more often than not without any issues, it definitely feels like more work than usual to try and get every key to press correctly. It feels like it’s time for Apple to drop the butterfly design.

We Want To Hear From You

What do you think of the butterfly design? Are you a fan of it, or would you like to see Apple go a different route?

[via WSJ]