With pressure mounting from all sides, Apple has been forced to admit and resolve issues pertaining to its controversial ultra-thin butterfly mechanism keyboards found on its line of MacBook laptops.
The proprietary butterfly mechanism was launched to great fanfare, with its unbeatable slimness. About 40% thinner than the brand’s scissor-mechanism keyboards, and with a key cap that is 17% larger, the new technology promised to allow MacBooks to be made even thinner than before.
However, in this rare revelation, Apple has affirmed wide-ranging allegations by users and critics that it’s revolutionary butterfly keyboard mechanisms had a fatal flaw. With a keyboard travel lower than ever, it was all too easy for debris to get trapped in the mechanism, effectively preventing any further actuation.
To compound matters, unlike other keyboards, there is no simple at-home fix for butterfly mechanism keyboards that are jammed. With this announcement, Apple will let users bring in their laptops for repair at Apple Stores and authorised service centres – all for free. This program affects nine MacBook and MacBook Pro products (you can identify your MacBook model with Apple () menu > About This Mac):
- MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015)
- MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2016)
- MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, 2017)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016)
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017)
To date, Apple faces no less than three class action lawsuits over the defective design of the keyboard.
This comes right on the tails of Apple’s admission earlier this year of the throttling older iPhones in order to preserve battery life. The company then issued a heavily discounted battery replacement program to assuage angry customers.
It remains to be seen if Apple will continue with its use of butterfly mechanism keyboards on its new MacBooks in light of their actions.
You can learn more about eligibility and details of the free repairs, you can read the full details about the program at this website.