Apple Confirms 2018 MacBook Pro Keyboard Has 'Membrane' to 'Prevent Debris From Entering the Butterfly Mechanism'

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 19, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    In an internal document distributed to Apple Authorized Service Providers, obtained by MacRumors from multiple reliable sources, Apple has confirmed that the third-generation keyboard on 2018 MacBook Pro models is equipped with a "membrane" to "prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism."

    Image Credit: iFixit

    The relevant excerpt from Canadian and European versions of Apple's internal 2018 MacBook Pro Service Readiness Guide:
    While the U.S. version of this Service Readiness Guide does not mention the membrane, it contains a link to a separate internal document titled "Butterfly Mechanism Keycap Replacement MacBook Pro (2018)" that does:
    In its teardown of the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar last week, the repair experts at iFixit were first to discover the thin, silicone barrier underneath the keycaps, and theorized that it was to prevent dust indeed. Apple filed a patent for a contaminant-resistant MacBook keyboard back in 2016.

    Publicly, Apple has only confirmed that 2018 MacBook Pro models feature an "improved third-generation keyboard for quieter typing," but many suspected that the silicon membrane was actually to prevent "contaminant ingress," fancy speak for the crumbs from your sandwich that you ate at your desk for lunch.

    Following years of anecdotal complaints from customers, and a few class action lawsuits, Apple initiated a worldwide service program last month, offering free repairs of 2015-and-later MacBook and 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro keyboards, which are equipped with low-profile butterfly switch mechanisms.

    We've already reported about the service program in more detail, but the gist is that those particular MacBook and MacBook Pro models can experience issues with sticky, unresponsive, or inconsistently functioning keys when small particles like dust or crumbs get stuck underneath the shallower keycaps.

    Apple confirmed to MacRumors that third-generation keyboards will not be offered as replacements under its service program for 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro second-generation keyboard repairs, likely due to a tweaked top case design.

    We've reached out to Apple for comment.

    Article Link: Apple Confirms 2018 MacBook Pro Keyboard Has 'Membrane' to 'Prevent Debris From Entering the Butterfly Mechanism'
  2. sequential macrumors member

    Jul 12, 2015
    So will this be provided to us the next we have to send in our 2016/2017 macbook pro's for repair? I just got mine back from a repair just a few weeks ago.
  3. ondert macrumors 6502


    Aug 11, 2017
    well.. the new problem is throttling which might be much severe and yet we still don't know how effective this will be.

    No, Apple said that this keyboard is only available for 2018 models since they shaved the upper case a bit and probably this won't fit well for 2016 and 2017 models.
  4. jonnysods macrumors 603


    Sep 20, 2006
    There & Back Again
    Grateful for this update.

    Puzzled by the i9 and what Apple will say...
  5. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

    May 31, 2015
    Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
    What will it take for Apple to admit their initial designs were flawed? Another throttle-gate?
  6. mvp2885 macrumors member

    Jul 19, 2018
  7. JesperA macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2012
    Great, so they basically admitted that the last generation had problems with debris ingestion that was solved or atleast mitigated with the 2018 MBP - BUT - us with last years model are sorely stuck with the crappier design, even if we get a free service at any Apple store, we still only get another one of the crappier design that in time also most likely will fail.

    I feel so great being stuck with a 2017 fully loaded MBP with several keys not working and the B key repeating 2-3 presses with every press.

    Sure, things get updated and improved all the time but leaving us stranded on an isolated island when there is solution to the problem is kinda crappy
  8. haruhiko macrumors 601


    Sep 29, 2009
  9. TheShadowKnows! macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2014
    National Capital Region
    Just re-stating the obvious.
    Definitely, "fake news"/s
  10. blackcrayon macrumors 68000

    Mar 10, 2003
    Seems like they might be able to make a replacement keyboard with the improvement though, even if it would only fit the older models. Apple certainly has the resources, and it's still probably 99% the same to manufacture. Unless the "case shaving" was the only way the new silicone protectors could fit.
  11. TheShadowKnows! macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2014
    National Capital Region
    Actually 64 condoms.
    [They saved the 14 condoms off the ESC row.]
  12. iAVERY macrumors regular

    Sep 11, 2016
    The day the 3rd gen keyboards were announced I asked if I could get mine replaced (just got back from repair for sticky keys) and they said no that the “new keyboard in the replacement program will fix the issue” so I’m not sure if I have a regular 2017 keyboard or not. But I’m frustrated because a defective part swap is not what I’m looking for.
  13. cfdlab macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2008
    This should be posted in the "Positives to the touchbar?" thread. Some people are desperately looking.
  14. 69Mustang macrumors 604


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    So what happened with all that membrane is for making the keys quieter BS? Erbody and they momma knew it was for blocking particulate ingress. Quieter keys was just a fortunate consequence. Why all the subterfuge?
  15. Rogifan macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    According to Apple Insider the US version of this document does not mention debris.

    Anyway the whole making the keyboard quieter was marketing copy. This document assuming it’s legit wasn’t intended for the public.
  16. DrJohnnyN macrumors 65816


    Jan 27, 2010
  17. Dilster3k macrumors 6502a


    Jul 20, 2014
    Boy do I remember that 2016 Keynote where these were introduced & being utterly shocked at the time. Product has been a dumpster fire ever since. (Proud owner of the previous design!)
  18. Dydegu macrumors 6502a


    Mar 9, 2015
    “They would never do that, because they’d be admitting fault.”

    Oh... OH.
  19. cmaier Suspended

    Jul 25, 2007
  20. JaySoul macrumors 68030


    Jan 30, 2008
    So instead of fixing the keyboard, they put a condom on it.
  21. shadowmatt macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2005
    The article should have started by saying Apple Lied.

    Last week they said it had nothing to do with dirt and was to make the keyboard quieter.

    This is a lie, one that was easily shown after people had a chance to tear apart the new laptop.

    I hope this is used in the lawsuits against them. They should also be fined for every time they charged a customer for a keyboard fix, as they were committing fraud and other violations of consumer laws.

    Think about that. Apple has knows for a while now about the issue and denied it, whilst designing and manufacturing a new keyboard to fix the issue. They charged hundreds $$$ for a fix as they glued lots of components to the part with the keyboard, a bad design mistake and one that punishes the customer.

    But they knew that charge was fraudulent as they were legally required to fix manufacturing and design defects.

    Refunding people isn't enough, they should be compensated. To be defrauded of hundreds of $$$, thousands if you count their advertising about their great new keyboard is a material loss. People may have needed that money for other things, they might have gone into debt to pay for the repair.
  22. jclardy macrumors 68040


    Oct 6, 2008
    Whoopsies, this looks like it could be bad for Apple in all the keyboard related lawsuits. They finally have admitted that the changes were to prevent issues and not just to make it “quieter.”
  23. n-evo macrumors 65816


    Aug 9, 2013
    Your quite the victim aren't you? If you have issues just bring it in for repairs and they'll fix or replace your keyboard for free.

    I've been using my 2017 MacBook Pro daily since pretty much the day it was released. I have no issues whatsoever. But then again, I don't crumb food all over it.
  24. jb-net, Jul 19, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2018

    jb-net macrumors member

    Apr 7, 2012
    Let's see:
    • Apple designed a faulty keyboard in order to make the MBP 0.01 mm thinner
    • Apple denied the problem even as data and hard facts proved them otherwise
    • Only after some class action lawsuits went public Apple launched a keyboard replacement program
    • Apple replaces faulty 2016 and 2017 keyboards with the same old faulty designed keyboards that will fail again - it's just a matter of time
    • Apple released a new MBP with a fixed keyboard. This keyboard won't be available to 2016/2017 MBP owners.
    • If you want a working keyboard just spend another 2,400-7,000 USD to buy a new 2018 MBP but please don't do anything more than surfing the web, sending emails or writhing a letter. Otherwise your powerful 6-core MBP will start throttling down to 800 MHz.
    Doesn't make the best impression to me :mad:
  25. TomOSeven macrumors 6502


    Jul 4, 2017
    Sounds like it would be cheaper for them to put in the membranes into my 2017 keyboard once, rather than replacing the full keyboard every six month for the next four years...

Share This Page

300 July 19, 2018