Apple Apologizes Over 'Small Number' of Users Who Continue to Have Issues With Third-Generation MacBook Keyboards

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 27, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Last year, Apple introduced new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models with a redesigned third-generation butterfly keyboard that was meant to address issues with sticking and non-responsive keys. However, as noted by The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern, some customers are continuing to experience these issues.

    Third-generation butterfly keyboard on 2018 MacBook Pro via iFixit

    In a statement, an Apple spokesperson acknowledged the issues and apologized:
    Apple added that affected customers should contact the company for support.

    Unfortunately, while Apple initiated a service program offering free repairs of affected 2015-2017 MacBook and 2016-2017 MacBook Pro models with first- and second-generation butterfly keyboards, the latest 2018 MacBook Pro and 2018 MacBook Air models with third-generation butterfly keyboards do not qualify at this time.

    Stern wrote her column without using the letters E or R as a clever way of illustrating the problem -- there are toggle switches to turn each letter back on. Humorously, there are also toggle switches to read the article with double E's or double T's, as repeating letters are one symptom of the sticky keys.


    In an internal document obtained by MacRumors last year, Apple said the third-generation keyboard has a silicone membrane under the keycaps to "prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism." However, the membrane has only reduced the keyboard issues instead of eliminating them entirely.

    Apple has not admitted this reasoning publicly, instead saying that the third-generation keyboard delivers a "quieter" typing experience.

    Stern concludes with a plea to Apple to "stop prioritizing thinness over usability."

    Article Link: Apple Apologizes Over 'Small Number' of Users Who Continue to Have Issues With Third-Generation MacBook Keyboards
  2. beermode macrumors member


    Apr 18, 2016
    I hope the next trend is function over form. Make everything durable, serviceable usable with big batteries.
  3. SoN1NjA macrumors 68000


    Feb 3, 2016
    the pool
    Are you ****ing kidding me? After three years, a $2400 laptop continues to have issues because Apple wants to be different ― nobody else needed the keyboard to be different!
  4. rosegoldoli macrumors regular


    Feb 21, 2019
    they really tried to downplay the issue by saying "small number". most people who have the keyboard seem to have issues. i have a macbook air 2018 and the "e" key clicks itself twice sometimes..

    they dont wanna admit that the buttlerfly keyboard is sort of flawed

    edit: read the article and she mentions my "sticky e" problem wow
  5. rtomyj macrumors 6502a


    Sep 3, 2012
  6. iMi macrumors 65816


    Sep 13, 2014
    We'll end up with a glass keyboard soon enough... Patents are already in place. It will offer some kind of feedback. Sounds horrible anyway...
  7. mozumder macrumors 6502a

    Mar 9, 2009
    Skipped this generation Macbook Pro because of this. A redesign can't come soon enough, maybe with an A14 chip?

    To show how widespread this problem is, just go to ANY Apple store and try out their laptops with this butterfly keyboard.

    You'll find several of them with broken keys.
  8. Silver Idaten macrumors 6502a

    Jul 31, 2015
    Stratford, CT
  9. now i see it macrumors 68040

    Jan 2, 2002
    still incapable of making a nice keyboard after all these years- Amazing
  10. oldmacs macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2010
    Can Apple just admit the design is flawed and move to something reliable in the next gen?

    Or perhaps bring back the old retina MacBook Pro to sell as a different range - put the latest internals in it, replace thunderbolt ports and USB A with USB-C thunderbolt 3, put in Touch ID and an equivalent display to the new Macs.
  11. aaronhead14 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 9, 2009
    Apple really ought to just acknowledge that these butterfly keyboards are awful, and revert back to the 2015 MacBook keyboards. It’s crazy. They went from having literally the greatest laptop keyboards on the market in 2015, to having the absolute worst keyboards on the market in 2016, all just to save half a millimeter in thickness.
  12. Brookzy macrumors 601


    May 30, 2010
    The first gen was trash.

    The one that shipped in the 2016 Pro was trash.

    The minor revision in 2017 seemed to achieve nothing.

    But I've had no problems with the third gen. I am surprised Apple is commenting on issues with the latest version. Maybe they do have plans to change it in the future.
  13. PastaPrimav macrumors 6502a

    Nov 6, 2017
    That isn't even remotely true, and you wouldn't know, regardless.
  14. dmx macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    The butterfly keyboard design completely took the joy out of typing on my MacBook Pro away from me. Used to be effortless and accurate on old designs. Typing is now a chore.
  15. ijlakw macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2013
  16. ondert, Mar 27, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019

    ondert macrumors 6502


    Aug 11, 2017
    All three MacBooks I have used after 2016 release have had this keyboard issue. Same happened on my girlfriend's macbook and some of my friends had the same issue. Are you calling this "small number"?
  17. Dave245 macrumors 604


    Sep 15, 2013
    I wonder if this is why we are seeing a rumour from Ming Chi Kuo that states Apple will be redesigning the MacBook Pro for later this year.
  18. SmackBookPro macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2018
    Too late for me, I got a refund on my £1949 512GB TB 13" 2018 model... Refund on the £399 AppleCare too.

    Mac mini all the way! It took me a long time to spend that much on a device in the first place, it'll take a long time before I spend that with Apple again after the experience with the MBP
  19. trifid, Mar 27, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019

    trifid macrumors 68000


    May 10, 2011
    When Apple says "small" the mere fact they are making a statement means that it's big. We know the keyboards have a fundamental design flaw that the thin silicone barrier does not fix.
  20. LuciusMalfoy macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2018
    The numbers must not be so small after all for Apple to acknowledge the issue publicly.
  21. swingerofbirch macrumors 68040

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    Maybe Apple will become a company where laptops don't matter.

    But whatever matters to that company in the future will be affected by the same lack of care it puts into its current products.

    We need a new CEO.
  22. NickName99, Mar 27, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019

    NickName99 macrumors regular


    Nov 8, 2018
    Loving my 2.8Ghz 2015 MacBook Pro 15.4”. Keyboard works great, 1TB SSD is upgradable. I’ve got MagSafe, Ports, an SDRAM card slot.

    Highly recommended.
  23. k1121j macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    The worst part is all The keys is to not feel uniform when pushed down. Yet Apple says this is normal!!!
  24. Martius macrumors 6502


    Jul 12, 2008
    Prague, CZ
    Heat, heat, heat. The problem is called heat.

    Just buy two identical MBP. Use one for just some basic operations like working with Office apps and use the other for rendering, video editing (preferably in clamshell mode) and you will see which keyboard will last longer.

    Bad, baaad design.
  25. rosegoldoli macrumors regular


    Feb 21, 2019
    they wouldnt be releasing any statement if the number was small. dont be fooled.

    i do, however, always support macs as being the best laptops anyone can get EVEN with the keyboard issues that are easily fixed

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