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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple will do away with its controversial butterfly mechanism keyboard in future MacBooks, beginning with a refreshed MacBook Air later this year.


In a report obtained by MacRumors, Kuo says Apple will instead use a new keyboard design based on scissor switches, which should provide better key travel and durability than the more failure-prone butterfly keyboard.
There have been successful developments in the new scissor keyboard. The new keyboard could improve the typing experience by offering longer key travel and durability by adopting glass fiber to reinforce the keys' structure.
Kuo believes a new scissor switch keyboard will also be used in the MacBook Pro, but not until 2020. Perhaps tellingly, Kuo made no mention of the 16-inch MacBook Pro he has previously suggested Apple will launch later this year.
We believe the partially refreshed MacBook Pro models will also adopt a new scissor keyboard in 2020; shipments of MacBook models equipped with a new scissor keyboard will grow 500-700% YoY in 2020. Though the butterfly keyboard is still thinner than the new scissor keyboard, we think most users can't tell the difference. Furthermore, the new scissor keyboard could offer a better user experience and benefit Apple's profits; therefore, we predict that the butterfly keyboard may finally disappear in the long term.
Apple's butterfly keyboards are highly controversial and have been called out as one of the company's worst design decisions due to their penchant for failure due to small particulates like crumbs or heat issues.

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

Apple in 2018 debuted MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models that use an updated third-generation butterfly keyboard. The third-generation keyboard has a thin silicone barrier behind each key, which was put in place as an ingress-proofing measure to prevent dust from getting in the keys.

Clearly the hope was that the updated keyboard would cut down on failures, but the 2018 MacBook Pro is still prone to keyboard issues, and Apple acknowledged as much in March.

Kuo says the new replacement keyboard will be supplied solely by specialist laptop keyboard maker Sunrex rather than Wistron, which currently makes the butterfly keyboards for Apple. The analyst expects the new Sunrex keyboard will go to mass production in 2020 and will make the Taiwan-based firm Apple's most important keyboard supplier.

Article Link: Kuo: Apple to Use New Scissor Switch Keyboard in Future MacBooks, Starting With 2019 MacBook Air Refresh
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Oct 21, 2008
Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
Jony Ive’s arrogance and obsession with thinness has cost Apple a ton of money and reputation. I’m glad he is leaving the company later this year, primarily because his editor and curator is no longer there.

Ive will have been the one to implement this change... they haven’t suddenly decided this, got contracts drawn designed and tested and put into production a new keyboard over night.... and how do you know it wasn’t Ive who came up with this plan?
Expect a large increase in price as well because i bet having to resort to using a specialist laptop keyboard maker has cost Apple a lot of money

They are switching from one specialist keyboard maker to another, it’s in the report.. I doubt it’ll cost more, most likely cost less as it’s proven well used technology.
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macrumors 603
Jul 13, 2008
apple releases a new materials keyboard for the 2019 macbook pros and then releases all new keyboard to other lines 3 months later? Yeaaa, not buying it.
Why would they put more $$$ into one year when they plan on releasing newer keyboards in the same or even following year?
They would of just ran the 2018 keyboards for one more year to save that r&d on fixing the butterfly keyboards.


macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2015


macrumors regular
Sep 30, 2018
Las Vegas
Well damn, I bought the MBA just about a week ago. Now I’m faced with keeping the one I have and trading it in later or just returning it all together and waiting.
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Aug 18, 2005
Jony Ive’s arrogance and obsession with thinness has cost Apple a ton of money and reputation. I’m glad he is leaving the company later this year, primarily because his editor and curator is no longer there.

Exactly. I was worried about this when Steve Jobs died and left Ive a blank check.

Since then MacBooks have become only form over function. I also think it was Jobs keeping him in check.
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