Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

codehound

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 24, 2013
16
8
Is Apple replacing the defective MBP keyboards (recently announced) with the same defective keyboards or have they updated the defective keyboards. Does anyone know? I'm wondering what the point of replacing a defective keyboard with another defective keyboard. Isn't it just a matter of time and your keyboard will not work properly?
 

Trixs

macrumors regular
Mar 26, 2008
163
100
Had 2 replacements. All the same issues. On the last one they also seem to have broken my screen
 

chabig

macrumors G4
Sep 6, 2002
11,300
8,999
I'm wondering what the point of replacing a defective keyboard with another defective keyboard. Isn't it just a matter of time and your keyboard will not work properly?
They don't replace them with "defective" keyboards. They replace them with working keyboards.

Using made up numbers, suppose the keyboards have a 10% failure rate. Yours fails. Too bad. The chances of your replacement going bad is 1 in 10. Overall, the odds are in your favor.

I know analogies suck, but what do you do when a lightbulb burns out? You replace it with a working lightbulb even though you know that one will eventually burn out too.
 

537635

macrumors 65816
Mar 7, 2009
1,098
971
Slovenia, EU
As of february 2018 (my last replacement) - YES, they replace them with the same, error prone, defective keyboards. The new keyboard failed again after a few months.


But it is true, it was replaced by a "working" keyboard. Which worked for a few months. Something that is to be expected from a keyboard on a €3000 laptop, right? Great analogy with the lightbulb. Totally same ballpark.
 

maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,610
43,606
I know analogies suck, but what do you do when a lightbulb burns out? You replace it with a working lightbulb even though you know that one will eventually burn out too.
The difference between a lightbulb and the keyboard is that lightbulb is "consumable" in that after x amount of hours its beyond its expected lifespan. Where as the keyboard failure is due to a design and its potentially being replaced with the same defect.

To use your analogy, you put one of those fancy LED lightbulbs into a lamp, a day later it burns out. You go back to the store to complain and they say yeah the design is such that a percentage fails quickly. They then give you the same type of bulb that is defective and they tell you if it happens again just replace it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ulenspiegel

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,500
12,633
I don't believe there's any difference between the "replacement" keyboards/topcases and the ones that fail.
Apple is just swapping out "as-yet still working" keyboards/topcases for failed ones.

Remember "RadeonGate"?
The "new" motherboard replacements were the same as the old ones -- and as such, susceptible to the same failure later on.

The only way to "fix" the butterfly keyboard is to throw the design into the trash bin and go back to the older, proven one!
 

livewhereveryouwant

macrumors newbie
Jun 16, 2018
25
5
2 days before the announcement of the apple replacement program, I went to an Apple store asking for the saleperson's honest opinion about the keyboard problem as I was thinking if I should buy the 2015 or 2017 macbook pro.

He told me that, "under the hood" Apple is using "slightly improved" keyboard for every new macbook pro, but they can't make it official. When I asked him whether I should just get the refurbished or the new one, he even said the chance of having "old" keyboard from the refurbished one is higher.

I am not a die hard Apple Fans, and of course there is a chance that this salesperson is trying to make a sale even though that will be pretty sick to make false statement like this. I am just reporting what I have heard.
 

jerryk

macrumors 604
Nov 3, 2011
7,418
4,207
SF Bay Area
I don't think Apple has designed anything better than the 2017 keyboard, which was an improvement from the 2016 keyboard. And perhaps they cannot given the space constraints.

The new program is like the Radeongate and Staingate programs. Programs that cover the cost, but do not deal with the underlying cause.
 

maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,610
43,606
He told me that, "under the hood" Apple is using "slightly improved" keyboard for every new macbook pro, but they can't make it official. When I asked him whether I should just get the refurbished or the new one, he even said the chance of having "old" keyboard from the refurbished one is higher.
It may be that the geniuses that work on the laptops noticed a difference and in talking with their coworkers mentioned something in passing. I do doubt that the higher ups sent a communication to the low level sales staff detailing an unofficial update.

People had postulated that the there was a small update in the 2017 models when they rolled out those new MBPs and its conceivable that they are still tweaking that design, so I'm not saying they didn't do it but rather the sales staff was told. :)
 

hajime

macrumors 604
Jul 23, 2007
7,828
1,266
I asked two Apple employees (from different stores) if they use the same defective keyboard for repair. They said that they have no idea. Can't they just check the serial number? There should be an indication on whether the replacement is the same old defective keyboard or a rev.3.
 

Ma2k5

macrumors 68030
Dec 21, 2012
2,562
2,531
London
It may be that the geniuses that work on the laptops noticed a difference and in talking with their coworkers mentioned something in passing. I do doubt that the higher ups sent a communication to the low level sales staff detailing an unofficial update.

This 100%, would have been leaked all over. No internal comms are private anymore in Apple except maybe between executive staff.
 

jerryk

macrumors 604
Nov 3, 2011
7,418
4,207
SF Bay Area
I asked two Apple employees (from different stores) if they use the same defective keyboard for repair. They said that they have no idea. Can't they just check the serial number? There should be an indication on whether the replacement is the same old defective keyboard or a rev.3.

Would you be OK with them opening your computer and popping the back off it. Pulling the batteries, main board, and terminating your warranty to get those numbers for you?

They work in a store, not in assembly or production engineering.
 

hajime

macrumors 604
Jul 23, 2007
7,828
1,266
Would you be OK with them opening your computer and popping the back off it. Pulling the batteries, main board, and terminating your warranty to get those numbers for you?

They work in a store, not in assembly or production engineering.

I mean the new parts they use to replace the keyboard.
 

jerryk

macrumors 604
Nov 3, 2011
7,418
4,207
SF Bay Area
I mean the new parts they use to replace the keyboard.

How would someone at an Apple store know? They barely get a heads up when a new model is going to be introduced. The communication of some parts upgrade in an existing product is very minimal, if at all.

And the repair work is being performed by a central service depot, not in the store so they may never even see the parts. Per the article on the MacRumors main page:
  • Be prepared to go a week-plus without your MacBook. Apple quotes a turnaround time of five to seven business days for service to be completed at Apple's off-site repair centers, but wait times may increase as an influx of customers take advantage of the program.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Queen6

deeddawg

macrumors G5
Jun 14, 2010
12,256
6,410
US
I mean the new parts they use to replace the keyboard.
Even if improvements were slipstreamed into the production line, there's a fair chance no differentiation in part numbers was made. If it was, it may not even been labelled on the part.

As mentioned above, it's also highly improbably that any communications were made to the rank-and-file employees regarding any slipstreamed improvements (if any were made).
 
  • Like
Reactions: jerryk and maflynn

tubeexperience

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2016
3,192
3,897
Yes. Look at image below.

A single grain of sand (on the bottom right) has blocked the butterfly mechanism from working.

butterfly.gif
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sam Luis Obispo

bd4

macrumors member
Jan 26, 2014
60
19
I have a 2016 MacBook Pro 15" and got my keyboard replaced because of a sticky key. Got it back this week on Wednesday. After I got home, I noticed that the Arrow Up-Key is making strange noises when pressed. Well, two days later and the key failed... brand new keyboard, two days of light use.
Since I need my device for work, I got a MacBook Pro 2015 now and I'm selling the 2016 when it's repaired again...
 

Falhófnir

macrumors 603
Aug 19, 2017
6,145
6,997
They don't replace them with "defective" keyboards. They replace them with working keyboards.

Using made up numbers, suppose the keyboards have a 10% failure rate. Yours fails. Too bad. The chances of your replacement going bad is 1 in 10. Overall, the odds are in your favor.

I know analogies suck, but what do you do when a lightbulb burns out? You replace it with a working lightbulb even though you know that one will eventually burn out too.
A lightbulb is designed to be easily replaced - the MBP keyboard is literally riveted in place - trying to remove it trashes the machine. Maybe making the keyboard an end user replaceable slot-in consumable component is the solution Apple have been looking for?
 
  • Like
Reactions: macjunk(ie)
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.