MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
53,519
15,249


It has been an eventful few weeks for MacBook Pro keyboards.

Last month, Apple finally acknowledged that a "small percentage" of MacBook and MacBook Pro models with butterfly switch keyboards may experience issues with "sticky" or inconsistently functioning keys, and launched a worldwide service program offering free repairs of affected keyboards for up to four years.

macbookpro15inch2018.jpg

The issues are widely believed to be caused by dust or other particulates, like crumbs from a sandwich, getting lodged in the butterfly mechanism underneath the keycaps, which are shallower than those on previous-generation MacBook and MacBook Pro keyboards with traditional scissor switch mechanisms.

Then, last week, Apple surprised us with the release of new 2018 MacBook Pro models, which feature an "improved third-generation keyboard for quieter typing," according to Apple's press release. Apple never publicly confirmed if the third-generation keyboard addresses the issues that prompted its service program.

It didn't take long for the repair experts at iFixit to open up the latest 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and discover a thin silicone membrane underneath each key, which they said is clearly to prevent "contaminant ingress," or, in other words, to prevent dust and crumbs from getting stuck under keys.

Then, just hours ago, MacRumors obtained an internal document from Apple, distributed to its network of Apple Authorized Service Providers, that clearly acknowledges that "the keyboard has a membrane under the keycaps to prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism," as many people suspected.

Now, in another internal document obtained by MacRumors, Apple has announced that it will be hosting a series of 60-minute web broadcast events focused on servicing Mac notebook keyboards and keycaps.

In the broadcasts, which service providers are instructed to watch "in private in an environment away from customers," Apple says it will discuss the anatomy of the current keycaps, focus on troubleshooting and isolating keyboard issues, and demonstrate how to clean keyboards and replace keycaps.

These training sessions are routine for Apple Authorized Service Providers, but given all of the issues surrounding the MacBook and MacBook Pro keyboards as of late, they will likely be very helpful for technicians.

Customers can initiate a repair by reading: How to Get a MacBook or MacBook Pro Keyboard Repaired Free Under Apple's Service Program.

Article Link: Apple Offers Technicians Additional Training on MacBook Keyboards With Series of Web Broadcasts
 
Last edited:

NT1440

Contributor
May 18, 2008
12,790
16,602
It's a keyboard, one of the most fundamental components of a laptop. It really shouldn't be this complicated.
...how complicated exactly?

I’m Apple certified, I spent 15 minutes watching an explanation of a particular screw once. I don’t see the problem in comprehensive training on how to do the repair work technicians are paid for, can you elaborate on the issue you have with it?
 

redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
7,669
7,555
...how complicated exactly?

I’m Apple certified, I spent 15 minutes watching an explanation of a particular screw once. I don’t see the problem in comprehensive training on how to do the repair work technicians are paid for, can you elaborate on the issue you have with it?
Fair enough, I see no problem with comprehensive training; but Apple clearly over-engineered this keyboard in an attempt to make it thinner, resulting in all the negative publicity over stuck keys happening with the 2016 / 2017 models, and making it more difficult to service as well.

My guess is the 2015 and before keyboards will still prove to be (on average) more reliable than the 2018 keyboards.
 

NT1440

Contributor
May 18, 2008
12,790
16,602
Fair enough, I see no problem with comprehensive training; but Apple clearly over-engineered this keyboard in an attempt to make it thinner, resulting in all the negative publicity over stuck keys happening with the 2016 / 2017 models, and making it more difficult to service as well.

My guess is the 2015 and before keyboards will still prove to be more reliable than the 2018 keyboard.
I doubt it, but you’re entitled to your opinion.

Once the debris thing is solved (as it likely is with the membrane now) people will only have their distaste for the travel to harp on, which is a comment on preference rather than reliability.
 

reteena2048

macrumors newbie
Jul 6, 2014
8
4
...how complicated exactly?

I’m Apple certified, I spent 15 minutes watching an explanation of a particular screw once. I don’t see the problem in comprehensive training on how to do the repair work technicians are paid for, can you elaborate on the issue you have with it?

At retail stores, technician training has been incredibly weak the last few years with lots of employees that are uncertified being forced to proceed with customer repairs. Notice it’s “routine” training for AASP but not for Apple. It’s a big problem and I doubt that they will offer time for Apple Technicians, especially during “busy back-to-school” season, then new product launch, then holiday.

Please note, there are now Geniuses that have only been trained by videos, and have never handled these physical components before. Especially these newly-designed Macbooks and MacBook Pros, that open quite differently from before (they don’t just unscrew and pop off, as you know actually being certified!)
 

mtneer

macrumors 68040
Sep 15, 2012
3,108
2,597
Are these technical seminars teaching the ASP's on how to fix customer problems, or are these coaching videos shaping what the employees say to minimize liability?
 
  • Like
Reactions: jb-net

charlituna

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2008
9,636
815
Los Angeles, CA
...how complicated exactly?

I’m Apple certified, I spent 15 minutes watching an explanation of a particular screw once. I don’t see the problem in comprehensive training on how to do the repair work technicians are paid for, can you elaborate on the issue you have with it?

i was thinking the same thing. my ex was an apple genius and these training videos were pretty standard.
 
  • Like
Reactions: NT1440

charlituna

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2008
9,636
815
Los Angeles, CA
Web broadcast about how to replace a condom?

don't laugh but yes. if you screw it up then you have to replace the whole top case and apparently those won't be in the story for like 2 months. and who knows if the mail in centers will have them. so that could actually mean a retail swap and you can bet the customer is going to demand that the store transfer their data for 'f***ing up" their repair which is another $100 covered
[doublepost=1532018067][/doublepost]
At retail stores, technician training has been incredibly weak the last few years with lots of employees that are uncertified being forced to proceed with customer repairs. Notice it’s “routine” training for AASP but not for Apple. It’s a big problem and I doubt that they will offer time for Apple Technicians, especially during “busy back-to-school” season, then new product launch, then holiday.

Please note, there are now Geniuses that have only been trained by videos, and have never handled these physical components before. Especially these newly-designed Macbooks and MacBook Pros, that open quite differently from before (they don’t just unscrew and pop off, as you know actually being certified!)

my ex was a Genius just up until a little under year ago and they did tons of physical training in the store. in fact one of the last things he did was hands on training for 2 new geniuses for 2 months in June and July

maybe it wasn't that way at YOUR store but your store is not universal
 

Mydel

macrumors 6502a
Apr 8, 2006
750
472
Sometimes here mostly there
...how complicated exactly?

I’m Apple certified, I spent 15 minutes watching an explanation of a particular screw once. I don’t see the problem in comprehensive training on how to do the repair work technicians are paid for, can you elaborate on the issue you have with it?

Should not be complicated to change the keycap for average consumer. I never understood why the design prevents simple key replacement. Would be logical to design the thing the way that will not cost hundreds of dollars for service.
 

NT1440

Contributor
May 18, 2008
12,790
16,602
At retail stores, technician training has been incredibly weak the last few years with lots of employees that are uncertified being forced to proceed with customer repairs. Notice it’s “routine” training for AASP but not for Apple. It’s a big problem and I doubt that they will offer time for Apple Technicians, especially during “busy back-to-school” season, then new product launch, then holiday.

Please note, there are now Geniuses that have only been trained by videos, and have never handled these physical components before. Especially these newly-designed Macbooks and MacBook Pros, that open quite differently from before (they don’t just unscrew and pop off, as you know actually being certified!)
Oh no, I’ve definitely heard about the shift to just video training, which is penny pinching terribleness. I have friends who were geniuses when Apple would fly them out to Cupertino for two weeks of hands on training.

I only got video training, as I was the Mac guy for a college. I personally was fine being trained this way because I had been repairing Macs for years before and already figured out most of the stuff (it’s still a basic computer inside). With that said it’s HUGELY disappointing what they’ve done to Genius training.

I’ve said it before, Apple’s dichotomy between campus workers and their retail staff is unacceptable. I get why it’s that way (capitalist ********) but for a company who drives on image to treat their store employees like pretty much any other retail operation (genius’s including),it’s downright shameful.
 

project_2501

macrumors 6502
Jul 1, 2017
455
528
the "training" is designed to find new ways to push back against customers in the most infuriatingly polite manner
[doublepost=1532029344][/doublepost]
...how complicated exactly?

I’m Apple certified

I think these two statements explain a whole lot.
 

NT1440

Contributor
May 18, 2008
12,790
16,602
the "training" is designed to find new ways to push back against customers in the most infuriatingly polite manner
[doublepost=1532029344][/doublepost]

I think these two statements explain a whole lot.
I think you have no idea what an Apple technician training video is. Unless something has dramatically changed recently the *technician* videos don’t cover interactions with customers AT ALL.

If you think I’m an Apple apologist (what you were hinting at) how about you read the post directly above yours.
 

Koh Phi Phi

macrumors regular
Nov 15, 2017
165
328
As someone who suffered from malfunctioning keyboard on my 15" TouchBar MBP, I hope this membrane fixes the reliability issue.

The butterfly keyboard had 3 main issues:
  • Reliability
  • Lack of tactile fee (no travel)
  • Annoying clackiness (noisy)
All in the pursue of shaving 1mm off to the laptop thickness... Was it really necessary?

I dunno... Butterfly keyboard, gimmicky touchbars, one-port mentality, no headphone jack quest... I feel like Apple in the last few years have been stubornly fighting the wrong battles!
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.