Apple Finally Admits to MacBook Keyboard Design Flaw

Apple last night quietly launched a new service program for those MacBook and MacBook Pro models that use its deeply-flawed and poorly-designed butterfly keyboard design.

“Today we launched a keyboard service program for our customers that covers a small percentage of keyboards in certain MacBook and MacBook Pro models which may exhibit one or more of the following behaviors: letters or characters that repeat unexpectedly or don’t appear when pressed or keys that feel ‘sticky’ or aren’t responding in a consistent manner,” an Apple statement notes, underplaying the severity of the issue.

Indeed, this problem is an open embarrassment for Apple and its worst design failure since the iPhone 4. In that infamous case, dubbed “Antennagate,” the device could drop cellular connectivity when held normally by the user. Apple underplayed the severity of that issue, too. But the parallels are even deeper: Just as Apple quietly revamped the antenna design of the iPhone over the next several revisions, it, too, has been quietly trying to fix the butterfly keyboard design too.

Apple proudly introduced the original version of the butterfly keyboard with its early 2015 MacBook, noting at the time that the scissor mechanism that it (and other PC makers) previously used was wobbly and unstable. The butterfly design that Apple created was meant to address these supposed issues, though customers had never complained about the previous Apple keyboard design.

Worse, the butterfly keyboard design is endemic unreliable. And it has been brought down, numerous times, by a single speck of dust, rendering the devices unusable. The problem is so bad that Apple faces several class-action lawsuits. Which explains the service program.

If you do own an impacted MacBook or MacBook Pro laptop, you’re going to want to keep this page bookmarked.

And, please, continue keeping the issue quiet so that Apple can keep receiving its industry-best brand reliability award from Consumer Reports, whose scores are based solely on owner feedback. Your silence is what makes this work.

“Apple stands out as being the most reliable laptop brand,” the agency reports, while calling out Microsoft for being unreliable. “These conclusions are based on our breakage rate estimates for laptops by the end of the 2nd year of ownership, gathered from subscribers’ experiences.”


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  • MikeGalos

    23 June, 2018 - 11:03 am

    <p>While technically "<span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">certain MacBook and MacBook Pro models " </span><em style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">could </em><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">be interpreted as "pretty much every MacBook and MacBook Pro model we've made over the last few years", I'm thinking Apple's press release would have been a bit more honest had they used the latter phrase. </span></p><p><br></p><p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;"><span class="ql-cursor"></span>The computers involved are:</span></p><p><br></p><ul><li>MacBook (Retina, 12-­inch, Early 2015)</li><li>MacBook (Retina, 12­-inch, Early 2016)</li><li>MacBook (Retina, 12-­inch, 2017)</li><li>MacBook Pro (13­-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)</li><li>MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)</li><li>MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)</li><li>MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)</li><li>MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2016)</li><li>MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2017)</li></ul><p><br></p>

    • MikeCerm

      23 June, 2018 - 12:04 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#285834"><em>In reply to MikeGalos:</em></a></blockquote><p>Basically everything but the MacBook Air, which hasn't been redesigned since 2010.</p>

      • rameshthanikodi

        24 June, 2018 - 9:52 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#285843"><em>In reply to MikeCerm:</em></a></blockquote><p>exactly. It's basically "every single laptop we sell today except for that one model we haven't touched since the death of steve jobs"</p>


      27 June, 2018 - 11:47 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#285834"><em>In reply to MikeGalos:</em></a></blockquote><p><em>I’m a very satisfied Mac user, but I have been disenchanted with Apple Keyboards for quite a while now, without ever owning a Mac laptop. The two Apple keyboards I have used have both failed. One was an earlier Magic keyboard, and the other was a usb keyboard with a num pad, which failed in warranty and was promptly replaced at an Apple store based simply on my word. That one still works but I keep it as a reserve because it just feels fragile. Because of this, I will only buy a Mac where I can use a non-Apple keyboard, i.e. an iMac, a Pro, or a Mini. I strongly prefer any keyboard by Logitech, esp the K780 and K380 multi-device models. They are built like battleships! </em></p><p><br></p><p><em>That said, I still consider a Mac, overall, to be a superior experience to Windows, which I used for many years, through Win 7. Even with Win 7, I was becoming thoroughly disgusted with the update process, which seems to have become more and more annoying and hit and miss with Win 10.</em></p><p><br></p><p><em>It seems like laptop computers, as a general category, are being eclipsed by devices like the Surface Pro, the iPad Pro, and other similar devices. It really seems like an inherently bad idea to have a keyboard integrated into a device, where any keyboard problem becomes disabling to the entire device.</em></p><p><br></p>

  • karlinhigh

    Premium Member
    23 June, 2018 - 11:39 am

    <p>Consumer Reports reliability ratings: There's a story somewhere about the Toyota Corolla and Geo Prism (a General Motors brand) getting quite different ratings, even though they were identical-except-for-branding and made on the same assembly line. Guess which one got the better rating.</p>

    • GT Tecolotecreek

      23 June, 2018 - 11:54 am

      <blockquote><a href="#285839"><em>In reply to karlinhigh:</em></a></blockquote><p>Actually I believe it was Chevy Nova and Corolla, made on the same assembly line in LA. (Worked in the automotive software biz for a while) Agree with you 100%, the CR methodology is flawed. But that is a CR issue, not Apple. And CR has never been viewed as "Apple friendly". </p>

    • jwpear

      Premium Member
      23 June, 2018 - 3:19 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#285839"><em>In reply to karlinhigh:</em></a></blockquote><p>I like the idea of CR, but I've always been a little suspect on the reliability of their reviews and ratings. Only anecdotal, but I've made several appliance purchases based on their reviews and ratings only to have absolutely pitiful reliability. I still check reviews and ratings, but that doesn't drive my decision process unless I can find other non-CR data to back it up.</p>

  • GT Tecolotecreek

    23 June, 2018 - 11:44 am

    <p>First it's good they have acknowledged the issue and definitely overdue. The bigger unanswered question is if the replacements have an engineering change to correct the issue or if the replacements are more of the same. I know they announced a keyboard change on the mid-2017 version MBPs but it looks like they too are in included in this program. </p><p><br></p><p>Really Paul, your ongoing screed about Apple again? </p>

  • MikeCerm

    23 June, 2018 - 12:01 pm

    <p>Worst design failure since antennagate? I'm not so sure. Bendgate, and the associated "touch disease" was pretty bad. Also, the 2013 "trash can" Mac Pro was probably Apple's biggest design failure of all time. It was so tone deaf to the needs of professional users that many pros left Mac for Windows, and Apple basically just abandoned the Pro market. It can only really be compared to the G4 Cube, which Apple at least had the sense to discontinue. </p>

    • MikeGalos

      23 June, 2018 - 1:03 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#285842"><em>In reply to MikeCerm:</em></a></blockquote><p>The "Can't innovate, my ass" Mac Pro was also so badly designed that when it turned out Apple had totally misread the direction the graphics card industry was going they couldn't actually use any of the new graphics cards to fix it. </p><p><br></p><p>It takes talent to create a design that's so bad that it can't be fixed.</p>

      • Bob Shutts

        23 June, 2018 - 6:59 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#285848"><em>In reply to MikeGalos:</em></a><em>For some reason Nvidia and Apple had a falling out. I would love for them to kiss and make up. Nvidia makes excellent stuff.</em></blockquote><p><br></p>

        • MikeGalos

          23 June, 2018 - 8:39 pm

          <blockquote><a href="#285880"><em>In reply to Bob_Shutts:</em></a></blockquote><p>It wasn't just the falling out. It was the decision of multi core versus multiple GPUs.</p>

      • joeaxberg

        Premium Member
        24 June, 2018 - 9:59 am

        <blockquote><a href="#285848"><em>In reply to MikeGalos:</em></a></blockquote><p><br></p><p>Apple certainly misread the direction the graphics card industry was going. Certainly did. But then I would also have to assume that they were working very closely with AMD on the form factor of the GPU's they were going to put into the Mac Pro's. Did AMD missread the direction they were going to go too? Wouldn't at some point AMD told Apple's engineers, "Hey I think we're going to go in a different direction, you might want to rethink this." Seems like some of the blame would have to fall with those who design the graphics cards too.</p>

        • MikeGalos

          24 June, 2018 - 11:18 am

          <blockquote><a href="#285926"><em>In reply to joeaxberg:</em></a></blockquote><p>Actually, both AMD and nVidia changed directions. I suspect Apple just focused for several years on the design, fell in love with it and then talked themselves out of spotting an industry trend when that trend changed late in the design by figuring it would change back.</p>

      • Angusmatheson

        24 June, 2018 - 10:06 am

        <blockquote><a href="#285848"><em>In reply to MikeGalos:</em></a></blockquote><p>But it was a marvel. It was certainly innovative. It however did not work well and was so constrained – simply because of the way they wanted it to look, that the design was a a dead end. Those choice of how it looked trumped other cosiderations. That is a horrific mistake.</p><p><br></p>


        27 June, 2018 - 2:25 am

        <blockquote><a href="#285848"><em>In reply to MikeGalos:</em></a></blockquote><p>Have you ever used one? I bet not. My 6 core D500 is by far, the best performing, and most quiet, desktop I have ever used. Boots in about 20 seconds, opens photoshop and lightroom nearly instantly, never crashes, does anything I want without a hiccup. Is it for everyone? Is it the best performing desktop you can buy? No, but a lot of photographers love the thing. Very strong resale value as well: New price $3000, likely will sell for $2000 to $2500 after using for 2 years. </p>

        • curtisspendlove

          27 June, 2018 - 12:51 pm

          <blockquote><a href="#286544"><em>In reply to ROBERTMEPPEL:</em></a></blockquote><p><em>My 6 core D500 is by far, the best performing, and most quiet, desktop I have ever used.</em></p><p><br></p><p>This is the thing with the “Trash Can Pro”. </p><p><br></p><p>It is easy for tech nerds to poke fun at it. It is pretty funny that they made a sexy, but compromised design. </p><p><br></p><p>But the people that wanted that to be a revision of the “cheese grater” Mac Pro were sadly mistakes, and I think felt burned again. Apple was in the middle of a “appliance-ize everything” phase. </p><p><br></p><p>They didn’t (and won’t) admit to it, but I don’t think they designed it to be highly upgradeable. If anything, I think they had some small incremental updates planned. Then I think they planned on killing it with the iMac Pro. I’m hoping they reversed that plan with the about-face for the new Mac Pro. </p><p><br></p><p>Regardless, the people that need a fast Mac and a separate KVM combo, and don’t care to upgrade the device (honestly, fewer people than you’d think want to crack open a device and upgrade it nowadays), can find an awesome machine in that Mac Pro. </p><p><br></p><p>I honestly wish I’d grabbed one for software dev instead of waiting on a revised Mini. I’m expecting the new Mac Pro to be hugely expensive. Like *starting* price to be mid iMac Pro levels. So who knows, if they don’t ever refresh the Mini, I might actually buy a refurb Trash Can Pro in 2019. </p><p><br></p><p>:/</p>

          • ROBERTMEPPEL

            27 June, 2018 - 9:42 pm

            <blockquote><a href="#286616" target="_blank"><em>In reply to curtisspendlove:</em></a><em> Interesting observations. I did get my Pro because I had outgrown my late 2012 Mini, and was greatly disappointed in the new 2014 version of the Mini with the soldered in memory and no i7 option. I agree that the trashcan Pro wasn’t designed to be upgraded, although gives it an 8 out of 10 for repairability, and it does come apart nicely and impresses with the build quality when you get inside. The processor is upgradable, but the return on that investment would not be worthwhile.</em></blockquote>

    • Angusmatheson

      24 June, 2018 - 10:01 am

      <blockquote><a href="#285842"><em>In reply to MikeCerm:</em></a></blockquote><p>Apple does have a long history of missed products. This feels different to me because it when from the amazing MacBook Air and pre 2016 keyboard that were considered very good and replaced them with keyboards that were catastrophically bad. </p>

      • MikeGalos

        24 June, 2018 - 11:16 am

        <blockquote><a href="#285927"><em>In reply to Angusmatheson:</em></a></blockquote><p>Everybody ends up with missed products. As you pointed out, Apple's amazing at taking products and making bizarre decisions to damage ones that work well.</p>

  • dcdevito

    23 June, 2018 - 12:25 pm

    <p>"Can't innovate my ass"</p><p><br></p><p>-Phil Schiller</p>

    • ChristopherCollins

      Premium Member
      23 June, 2018 - 12:42 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#285844"><em>In reply to dcdevito:</em></a></blockquote><p><br></p><p>Thanks for the lol. This may be the most well placed usage of that quote I have ever seen.</p><p><br></p>

  • MikeGalos

    23 June, 2018 - 1:07 pm

    <p>An item that hasn't actually been answered is whether Apple users who get the "free replacement" for their <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">endemically unreliable</span> keyboards will be getting an improved design or just another of the same <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">endemically unreliable</span> keyboard that will break just as easily.</p>

    • Detective Polarphant

      23 June, 2018 - 1:33 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#285849"><em>In reply to MikeGalos:</em></a></blockquote><p><br></p><p>It looks like they are not replacing them with more reliable keyboards – in fact they might only replace some keys…from an article on iMore:</p><p><br></p><p>An Apple spokesperson provided me with the following statement:</p><p><br></p><p><span style="color: rgb(16, 16, 16); background-color: transparent;">"Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider will examine the customer's device to verify eligibility and then perform the service free of charge. Service may involve the replacement of one or more keys or the whole keyboard."</span></p><p><br></p><p>Another job well done.</p><p><br></p>

    • nbplopes

      23 June, 2018 - 2:50 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#285849"><em>In reply to MikeGalos:</em></a></blockquote><p><br></p><p>Ask Paul if MS ever admitted there was a design flaw with his Surface Book gen 1,. Or if there was a design flaw in SP3 given those flaws were extended even to SP4. How many people were detaching and re-attaching their SP keyboards because every day they all in the sudden they stopped working. </p><p><br></p><p>Even when a company takes positive measures to solve problems, taking full responsibility by extending warranties and so on, some people see it has a negative. Not a virtue, comparatively.</p><p><br></p><p>I mean, I understand the frustration for those with affected devices. But now imagine added to this frustration, you only need to live with it, wait years for a fix, wait for the next version or buy something else. Yes, been in there, no more!!!!!!</p><p><br></p><p>You see, that is why people with affected units will still buy again, and again, and again…. They want that no more!!!!!!!!</p><p><br></p><p>I saw a guy being offered by Apple discounts and even gifts like free Air Pods for the trouble he had in his defective units making a pod cast about how horrible the company was just to be Hip, with Paul. Guess what, he stills buys Apple.</p><p><br></p><p>Haters, gonna hate.</p>

      • MikeGalos

        23 June, 2018 - 3:43 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#285855"><em>In reply to nbplopes:</em></a></blockquote><p>You might note that the flaw in the MacBook went on for 3 years' worth of models and in the MacBook Pro for 2 years' worth. The problem was known about and kept in production. And it was only pending class-action litigation that forced Apple to fix the problem and thus avoid punitive damage fines on top of having to replace the defective products.</p><p><br></p><p>Defend it all you like, it stinks no matter what you say.</p>

        • nbplopes

          23 June, 2018 - 6:49 pm

          <blockquote><a href="#285860"><em>In reply to MikeGalos:</em></a></blockquote><p><br></p><p>As I remember most reports started coming in the second half of last year. As for the class action, my impression is that given the success of Apple, its only natural that becomes the perfect target for law firms wanting to squeeze ou a buck.</p><p><br></p><p>Are you telling me that the problem around disconnecting keyboard in SP2 and 3 were not known beforehand or during and kept in production? It was so evident … My kid suffered with this problems day in day in in his SP2.</p><p><br></p><p>What about the recent reported security flaws in Intel chips granting patch’s slowing down the performance of all systems? The only reason this just passed by, its because well you know it would bring the industry into a halt if taken disproportionately, in my opinion.</p><p><br></p><p>Mind you, I’m not saying one bad thing makes another bad thing ok. But case in case here at least they take ownership of the problem from their customers!!!! You might think, well, they are doing it to protect their interests. Well, I agree, unfortunately not every company thinks the same way!!!! You see, when you have %80 market share, a plenty of followers that think any other company are crooks one way or another, why bother really?</p><p><br></p><p>Which company inthe world is effectively trying to legitimize as normal practice beta software and devices sold as final products, some of them thousands of dollars worth in the name of innovation and software as a service?</p><p><br></p><p>The fact is, Apple is taking action to help their customer anyway they can while others in instances that looked similar have not! Self interest? Yes, but even if we take that, how is this action a bad thing considering the standard industry modus operandi, it’s a an exercise in creativity.</p><p><br></p><p>Now if you said that Apple seams to be getting sloppy, too much confidence and looking like their eyes are more in the stocks and stock buy outs … there is in my perspective something to back this view!!!!!! Something that looks different from what used to be in SJ times. If you said to me that this looks like another instance of this … Let’s see how it goes.</p>

          • MikeGalos

            23 June, 2018 - 7:02 pm

            <blockquote><a href="#285878"><em>In reply to nbplopes:</em></a></blockquote><p>I can see why an Apple apologist would want to change the subject to Intel or Microsoft but let's stay on topic.</p><p>Back on the topic, the class action suit filing (whose link I'd try to post but this site's link stuff still causes the post to freeze) states that complaints became known shortly after the launches of each model in 2015 and 2016 and that Apple had issued a suggested workaround in June 2017 that did not fix the known problem but acknowledged that it existed.</p>

            • nbplopes

              24 June, 2018 - 4:30 am

              <blockquote><a href="#285881"><em>In reply to MikeGalos:</em></a></blockquote><p><br></p><p>Not trying to change the subject. Evaluation ialways comes by contrast. Its one of the fundamentals precepts of evaluation.</p><p><br></p><p>Considering you seam so outraged about this, it is evidentl that some other company has shown in similar situations a better posture? Which one you are thinking about? </p><p><br></p><p>Thank you.</p>

              • MikeGalos

                24 June, 2018 - 11:22 am

                <blockquote><a href="#285908"><em>In reply to nbplopes:</em></a></blockquote><p>I'm hardly "outraged". You'll note my objection in the original post was at Apple marketing for downplaying the number of models involved by weasel wording it. And the thread you are responding to was my asking whether they were replacing the defective design with a better design or whether they were just replacing units that failed with the same defective design.</p><p><br></p><p>Where's the "outrage" in those?</p>

                • nbplopes

                  24 June, 2018 - 4:22 pm

                  <blockquote><a href="#285931"><em>In reply to MikeGalos:</em></a></blockquote><p><br></p><p>I personally don’t know how many reports exist to judge it as a defective design. All we know is that are what we think to be an abnormally number of users with similar problems. </p><p><br></p><p>Similar circunstances occurred with devices from companies like MS for instance. It’s important to acknowledge this and compare their modus operandi with Apple.</p><p><br></p><p>As as you know if there is a problem with an unit, all companies&nbsp; either fix the the unit or replace with other of the same model.</p><p><br></p><p>What they did is extend warranty from one to 4 years where Keyboard issues are concerned. Of course, to do so they took into account a number of factors. Apple is accused of not taking customer feedback serisously, but when they do, and put their money on it, some people see it a cynical move. </p><p><br></p><p>I don’t see any mal practice here. In fact comparatively they up the bar in my opinion. They don’t always communicate well, sometimes really silly, still better than its competition in my opinion.</p><p><br></p><p>You seam to be trying to construct an argument like “they new it was faulty by design, they proceeded with manufacturing and sales, and ingnored users reports up until a potential class action”. Here is the thing. You see, the class action can still go forward irrespective of this move. But Such thing would be very hard if not impossible to prove, even if its true. Companies know that, so much so they ignore class actions like this!!! I’ve seen it happen over and over again. People that live with their PC with a number of often and well reported problems or annoyances until they find the money to replace them.</p><p><br></p><p>,news-2779.html</p><p><br></p><p><span style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"></span></p><p><br></p><p></p><p><br></p><p>Still they managed to tie break with PS3!!!</p><p><br></p><p>The most important is that seams to be that the total of Apple customer is above some specific threshold with similar problems. I bet they have well defined procedures to deal with this, a very specific threshold and possible actions for such circumstances, like warranty extension etc etc etc. You know, this stuff is not a off the hat action. Different companies, different procedures (remember the red ring of death?). I remember recently one company going to the extent of blaming their partners of problems concerning their units, including having their press writing and making podcasts blaming their partners. That is another way to deal with it I guess, but was there any class action against the partner? Of course not, what they provided was working as expected in other companies PCs, including Macbook Pro's from Apple. At least not to the point of passing the heat to the partner in any way whatsoever, formally or informally.</p><p><br></p><p>I wonder how much will Apple spend with this extended warranty? I don't think it will be a billion by a very large margin. This is what I think. But hey, who knows.</p>

            • pecosbob04

              25 June, 2018 - 7:53 am

              <blockquote><a href="#285881"><em>In reply to MikeGalos:</em></a><em> "</em>I can see why an Apple apologist …"</blockquote><blockquote>OMG! Hypocrisy thy name is Mike!</blockquote><p><br></p>

      • Stooks

        25 June, 2018 - 5:07 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#285855"><em>In reply to nbplopes:</em></a></blockquote><p>Remember how Paul thought Skylake was the root of all the Surface problems. Lol, more like Microsoft building PC's for the first time since Skylake worked great in the Mac's</p>

    • curtisspendlove

      27 June, 2018 - 12:07 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#285849"><em>In reply to MikeGalos:</em></a></blockquote><p><em>An item that hasn't actually been answered is whether Apple users who get the "free replacement" for their&nbsp;</em><em style="background-color: transparent;">endemically unreliable</em><em>&nbsp;keyboards will be getting an improved design or just another of the same&nbsp;</em><em style="background-color: transparent;">endemically unreliable</em><em>&nbsp;keyboard that will break just as easily.</em></p><p><br></p><p>It’s a repair or a refurb. Same kind of device. This is common.</p><p><br></p><p>If your Surface Pro 2 died, you didn’t walk into the MS Store and walk out with a Surface Pro 4. </p><p><br></p><p>P.S. *some* people might have, but not on a large scale. Just like I have had a full keyboard replacement on an older MacBook Pro be covered. Apple is often amazingly nice to work with on repairs. I expected to have to pay for that repair, even with AapleCare on the device. </p>

  • Bob Shutts

    23 June, 2018 - 1:16 pm

    <p>Poor design? Absolutely. However, as the owner of a 2016 MacBook Pro and a 2016 MacBook, I’m very happy about the 4 year service extension. Strange, I’ve had zero issues with the keyboards and find I type faster on them. Wonder what they’re going to do about the next generation. </p>

    • dontbe evil

      23 June, 2018 - 3:40 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#285850"><em>In reply to Bob_Shutts:</em></a></blockquote><p><br></p><p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">"as an apple user I’m very happy to pay for the 4 year service extension"</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">fixed</span></p>

      • Bob Shutts

        23 June, 2018 - 6:56 pm

        <blockquote><span style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">"Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider will service eligible MacBook and MacBook Pro keyboards, </span><u style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">free of charge</u><span style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">. The type of service will be determined after the keyboard is examined and may involve the replacement of one or more keys or the whole keyboard."</span></blockquote><blockquote><br></blockquote><blockquote><span style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">There, fixed that for ya. ?</span></blockquote><p><br></p>

        • MikeGalos

          24 June, 2018 - 1:38 am

          <blockquote><a href="#285879"><em>In reply to Bob_Shutts:</em></a></blockquote><p>Yeah, because Apple has a long history of absorbing costs and cutting profits rather than passing the costs on to consumers. Oh, wait, that's exactly the opposite of Apple's model. Sorry.</p>

          • nbplopes

            24 June, 2018 - 4:54 am

            <blockquote><a href="#285905"><em>In reply to MikeGalos:</em></a></blockquote><p><br></p><p>Like any other company Apple in my experience passes costs in the product price. In my experience it’s one of the companies whose service after sales is absolutely the best until now, going beyond any other!!!!!!</p><p><br></p><p>Others have improved a lot, but still not on par.</p><p><br></p><p>PS: Correction. Some companies don’t do it that way. Some companies sell products bellow cost and charge you in other ways, muddling the all thing for the customer. Heck, some companies even give it for “free” and cross sell.</p>

            • MikeGalos

              24 June, 2018 - 11:27 am

              <blockquote><a href="#285909"><em>In reply to nbplopes:</em></a></blockquote><p>Which is why Bob_Shutts is wrong in thinking it won't cost Apple users as I pointed out. </p><p><br></p><p>And, yes, there are companies that absorb unexpected costs. They end up with a bad quarter and write off the expense out of the profits of other products or take a one quarter loss. Happens all the time.</p>

              • MikeGalos

                24 June, 2018 - 1:39 pm

                <blockquote><a href="#285932"><em>In reply to MikeGalos:</em></a></blockquote><p>Oh, wait. I forgot. The companies that write off unexpected losses rather than charge their customers to keep their profit margins up are those whose customers brag about their features and innovation rather than those who brag about the profit margin their purchases enable.</p><p><br></p><p>Never mind.</p>

  • jwpear

    Premium Member
    23 June, 2018 - 3:25 pm

    <p>The keyboard on my 2012 MBP (unibody) is still one of my favorites. I've tried out the keyboards on the newer MBP's and don't find the feel and super short travel enjoyable at all. I don't know why it was necessary to change them and I don't buy the space argument. </p><p><br></p><p>I have to say, the keyboard on my 2016 Dell Inspiron 15 (7579) is my favorite laptop keyboard. It has just the right travel, perfect return tension, and very little wobble. Even feels better than my wife's Surface Laptop.</p>

  • dontbe evil

    23 June, 2018 - 3:39 pm

    <p>but but apple customer care (after class actions) is the best… “you’re using it wrong”</p><p><br></p>

  • David Woodbury

    23 June, 2018 - 6:15 pm

    <p>I own a 2016 MacBook Pro – keyboard is best keyboard I've ever used. I am an 80WPM touch typist, and this keyboard helps me to type faster. I've fortunately not had any issues with my keyboard, but if I do, its nice to know that Apple will pay for the repair. I also have AppleCare+ so I am covered for another year or so too.</p><p><br></p><p>Keep in mind that it takes time for a company as big as Apple to create a repair program. There are lots of considerations, and I'm sure Apple wanted to do the repairs in such a way that they minimize cost for Apple and give consumers a more reliable product so that the repairs do not have to be repeated.</p><p><br></p><p>The flaw in this article is that the author uses anecdotal evidence and the existence of an Apple repair program to assert that Apple reliability is worse than other brands. CR is not perfect, but at least they survey owners of various brands to assess reliabilty.</p>

    • evox81

      Premium Member
      23 June, 2018 - 8:49 pm

      <p class="ql-indent-1">"Keep in mind that it takes time for a company as big as Apple to create a repair program."</p><p><br></p><p>Denying there is a problem only to backtrack later also adds to that time.</p>

      • zybch

        24 June, 2018 - 10:49 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#285898"><em>In reply to evox81:</em></a></blockquote><p>Didn't take MS long to create a whole new system for dealing with the RRoD problem. A problem just like most of apple's, was due to form over function.</p>


      25 June, 2018 - 8:18 am

      <blockquote><a href="#285877"><em>In reply to David_Woodbury:</em></a></blockquote><p><br></p><p>Over the years Apple has conducted several out-of-warranty service programs to address difficult hardware issues like this .. for example faulty graphic chips and ram sockets. I can't remember a PC manufacturer EVER having a program like this. This is something that only Apple does.</p>

      • Stooks

        25 June, 2018 - 1:12 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#285985"><em>In reply to TEAMSWITCHER:</em></a></blockquote><p>This exactly! I do not remember a Dell, HP or whomever in the PC industry going as far as Apple does when there is an issue.</p>

    • Stooks

      25 June, 2018 - 1:11 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#285877"><em>In reply to David_Woodbury:</em></a></blockquote><p>Paul hates Apple. He has posts going back a decade are filled with juvenile Apple hate rants.</p><p><br></p><p>I have a 15inch 2017 since last September. It did take me a bit to get used to the keyboard. Now I love it. The keys are wider and with less travel they feel less wobbly after using it daily for 9 months. I luckily have had no issues. I did read that there was some slight improvements for the 2017 model and that the keyboard repairs for 2017 models are now back to pre-butterfly repair levels.</p><p><br></p><p>Apple Care is worth it. The warrenty hassle other companies put you through is such a PITA. With Apple Care, just walk into a store and they will take care of it. </p>

      • pecosbob04

        25 June, 2018 - 5:09 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#286088"><em>In reply to Stooks:</em></a><em> "</em>Paul hates Apple. He posts going back a decade are filled with juvenile Apple hate rants." Trust me Paul's Apple phobia goes back much further than a decade.</blockquote><p><br></p>

    • Randall Lewis

      25 June, 2018 - 4:34 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#285877"><em>In reply to David_Woodbury:</em></a> No, Consumer Reports does not "survey" owners of various brands to assess reliability. All they do is mail out a survey to every subscriber of the magazine and/or website. These readers then decide on their own whether to fill out the form or not. There is nothing in the survey that checks to see if readers have ever owned, or even heard of, the products they evaluate. Yet CR uses the results of this bogus survey to make recommendations on lots of electronics. They do a great job with their product testing, but this survey is crap and a PR stunt for their magazine and website. </blockquote><p><br></p>

      • DLF

        25 June, 2018 - 5:30 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#286135"><em>In reply to Randall_Lewis:</em></a></blockquote><p>Absolutely agree on Consumer Reports' reliability "surveys." At least if J.D. Power sends out a survey, it's targeting the population that actually bought the dang thing in question.</p>

  • skane2600

    23 June, 2018 - 9:14 pm

    <p>A perfect example of the pitfalls of favoring form over function. The endless quest for the diminishing value of thinness is the malware of industrial design.</p>

    • MikeGalos

      23 June, 2018 - 9:27 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#285899"><em>In reply to skane2600:</em></a></blockquote><p>Only for those who sell form. You know, like doing long videos in their presentations about the industrial designer.</p><p><br></p><p>How many people know the name of the lead ENGINEER of the MacBook or MacBook Pro?</p><p>How many people know the name Jony Ive? </p><p><br></p><p>I'd bet more people know his intentionally memorable spelling of his name than could list an Apple Engineer.</p><p><br></p><p>Compare that to the team that did Macintosh.</p><p><br></p>

  • puggsly

    24 June, 2018 - 4:01 am

    <p>So everyone here thinks Apple created and continued shipping a keyboard they knew was going to cost them heavily in repairs for an extended period of time instead of fixing a flaw? I don't know the numbers but I'm betting that only a small percentage of systems have any issue and it is only being noticed now due to the larger number of systems using it. It is likely still very reliable and will be tweaked in some way to make it even more so. </p><p>As for the lawsuits, they will likely be dismissed because there is nothing to see here.</p>

    • Ugur

      24 June, 2018 - 6:50 am

      <blockquote><a href="#285907"><em>In reply to puggsly:</em></a><em> Sorry, but have you been living under a rock for a while? Have you somehow missed the many cases where Apple had hardware flaws which remained for quite a while until so many users moaned about them that then Apple was forced to address them?</em></blockquote><blockquote><em>And then they would still usually try to talk it down as a small percentage affected and push for extended servicing duration or some other way to work around it in short term until they could finally fix it/work around it in hardware in better way usually 1-2 iterations later?</em></blockquote><blockquote><br></blockquote><blockquote>This happened quite a few times over the last 10 years, with both iOS devices and macs, too.</blockquote><blockquote>maybe google some if you somehow missed all of those.</blockquote><blockquote><br></blockquote><blockquote>It is very broadly known that the Butterfly keyboards Apple uses do in fact get unusable very easily when just tiny specs of dust make it under the keys. Google or watch some youtube videos, there are enough proving that quickly.</blockquote><blockquote>So yes, it is a known issue that can affect any user easily. But what should Apple do? Admit that this can affect any user easily and does in fact already lead to a considerably increased servicing requests amount for macbooks using that keyboard setup?</blockquote><blockquote>Then they would get forced to replace all of the macbooks for free forever until they have fixed the issue for good in later hardware revisions, so probably even way way longer than the servicing period they offer now.</blockquote><blockquote><br></blockquote><blockquote>Way worse for them is that now thanks to social media, youtube etc making such issues very public very quickly, it has seriously harmed the macbooks reputation.</blockquote><blockquote>After having bought many macs i was already not happy with their new post 2015 models for many reasons, but now for sure even if they address all the other complaints i have with them, i for sure will not buy another macbook until they put a proper keyboard into it again.</blockquote><blockquote>(Which i and other users have already been asking for since they first introduced the first bad butterfly keyboards)</blockquote><blockquote><br></blockquote><blockquote>Even with them offering free servicing for a long but still limited amount of time, with the way that keyboard is set up, it will for sure get stuck like that at some point, if you use it lengthy then surely also after their free servicing period ends. And in general, even if it only happened to me during the free servicing period, i use my machines for work and it is unacceptable i would have to bring in my computer for repair and not have it usable for several days because a spec of dust made the keyboard not work properly anymore and the way they designed it one can't do anything against that oneself and it can take them several days to service it (as they in many cases have to replace several parts of the whole laptop).</blockquote><blockquote><br></blockquote><blockquote>Having a spec of dust make your keyboard unusable is like one of the worst things that can happen to a laptop, since, well, the laptop is the computer most people carry around with them where it then is extra bad when it gets some dust in there somewhere on your travel and then the thing is not usable while you are on a business trip or similar.</blockquote><blockquote><br></blockquote><blockquote>Like, come on, no matter if you work at Apple or have Apple shares, that type of stuff is just stupid to defend.</blockquote><p><br></p>

    • zybch

      24 June, 2018 - 10:46 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#285907"><em>In reply to puggsly:</em></a></blockquote><p>Apple's MO is:</p><p>1 – Ignore the problem</p><p>2 – When their help forums start seeing a lot of ppl with the problem, delete the posts</p><p>3 – Get their 'geniuses' and phone support slaves to tell customers affected that its the only one they've heard of, and the fix will be $XXX</p><p>4 – Admit there is a problem with a 'very very small' number of machines but its down to user error or misuse, will cost $XXX to replace the part (these keyboards are being rendered useless by a couple of specs of dust)</p><p>5 – Admit that the problem is more widespread than they thought but unless you got scammed into AppleCare its still going to be $XXX to repair</p><p>6 – Issue a recall, but ONLY if the machine is less than XX months old. Usually when the machines they know are affected are YY months old at minimum</p><p>7 – Perform a fake Mea Culpa and extend the warranty of the machines affected knowing full well most ppl by now have retired them or already paid out the ass for their 'very very rare' problem to be fixed</p><p>8 – Profit</p><p>9 – Rinse and repeat</p><p><br></p><p>ALL of the 1st or 2nd gen (not sure which) TimeMachine routers died within 18 months due to totally inefficient cooling; no external vents and a fan that just blew the hot air around the inside of the enclosure and would only trigger at 60C+. They refused to take responsibility and I lost a heap of irreplaceable files. A year later they admitted the problem and offered to fix any TCs under warranty (mine had expired) by just replacing the internal PSU but not remedying the actual problem.</p><p>I modified mine with a new drive, creating air vents manually and using an external laptop power supply instead of the matchbox sized heater apple used and my TC has been working fine ever since.</p><p><br></p><p>Apple is entirely form over function and they rely on the sycophantic loyalty of their drone customers to keep buying their junk and giving excuses of why apples hardware is some of the worst you can buy, but it looks very pretty so thats okay. And its getting worse under Tim Cook. I can't imagine some of the recent screwups and decisions to have ever reached market were Jobs still tyrant.</p>

      • Stooks

        25 June, 2018 - 1:07 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#285965"><em>In reply to zybch:</em></a></blockquote><p><br></p><p>1.Get Apple Care, it really is a great service. Just walk into the store and get it replaced. What other computer maker has this kind of service?</p><p><br></p><p>2. If you did not get Apple Care and had this issue and paid out of pocket you will now be re-reimbursed. Just like the battery replacements for the phones. What other companies do this with out a law suit forcing them too??</p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p>

      • curtisspendlove

        26 June, 2018 - 10:01 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#285965"><em>In reply to zybch:</em></a></blockquote><p><em>Apple's MO is:</em></p><p><em>1 – Ignore the problem</em></p><p><br></p><p>Hmmm…ok.</p><p><br></p><p><em>2 – When their help forums start seeing a lot of ppl with the problem, delete the posts</em></p><p><br></p><p>Yup…this sounds like…</p><p><br></p><p><em>…</em></p><p><br></p><p><em><span class="ql-cursor"></span>And its getting worse under Tim Cook. I can't imagine some of the recent screwups and decisions to have ever reached market were Jobs still tyrant.</em></p><p><br></p><p>Aaaannnnd…there it is!</p>


        28 June, 2018 - 12:15 am

        <blockquote><a href="#285965"><em>In reply to zybch:</em></a></blockquote><p><em>Only one comment: Do you know, or have you looked up, the definition of sycophantic? As an Apple user who is hardly a drone, the last thing I am is one who is, in a servile manner, seeking the favor of Apple Inc. If you do some reading in the Apple user forums, one of the last things you will find there is sycophancy. People there are not at all shy about taking Apple to task for its failings. No fawning obsequiousness to be found. I continue to be mystified by the need to speak demeaningly of other people, who one doesn’t know, simply because their choice of computer equipment is unlike one’s own choice.</em></p><p><br></p>

  • Angusmatheson

    24 June, 2018 - 9:56 am

    <p>First, this key design is truly terrible. I have the misfortune of owning two of these 2016 MacBook pros and both of them have had they keyboards replaced multiple times. Second, it is good that Apple finally acknowledged this. But it was thanks to Casey Johnson. Apple would have loved to have said nothing to see here and quietly redesigned the keys. It is a reminder of the power of a good reporter/blogger to hold those in power accountable. Paul does this for Microsoft a lot and I think made a difference with Surface gate. Third, with consumer reports, most Apple laptop sold have been the amazing MacBook Air and and pre 2016 MacBook Pro which have been great, reliable computers. So there are still a huge number of happy customer writing in, because Microsoft is so new the problems with the surface book and surface pro 4 ended up being a much higher percentage. Now Apple deserves to be hammered for this. Fourth, I say this is completely a problem of innovation. The new key mechanism is a marvel, it just doesn’t work well. The trash can Mac Pro also really novel, and a thermal dead end. The problem is that the people in charge are prioritizing design and innovation over usability and reliability. They have forgotten that the Apple II, the Mac, and the iPhone were the computers for everyone. The computer that your mom could use (I realize that some people who are reading this have mom’s who are computer science professors or programmers – and I’m sure that statement is sexist and momist, but my mom is scared of computers but can use her iPhone, and Mac – a little). But I think if those in charge change their focus Apple can again be a leader. Pushing for the adoption of USB C is a great example. The way they got rid of cd drives, and floppy discs, pushed WiFi, popularized touch screens for phones, exposed the world to the GUI, made biometrics that really worked well, pushed computerized assistants. The last is a great example of how they saw it – and then didn’t do the work to make it usable – letting Amazing and Google make digital assistants who were better for users than Apple’s. Apple can, and I hope will change. Focus on products that work well for people. Not innovative, beautifully designed products for their own sake.</p>

  • captobie

    24 June, 2018 - 10:14 pm

    <p>If they had done this 18 months ago I'd still be a MacBook owner instead of an SP4 owner. My first and last Mac. Never again, Apple.</p>

  • Kadren

    25 June, 2018 - 6:45 am

    <p>There are many more issues mac devs need to admit, <a href="; target="_blank">security </a>being one of the more pressing matters. But the key design is horrible, no doubt about it.</p>

  • red.radar

    Premium Member
    25 June, 2018 - 8:16 am

    <p>What I like to know through the court process; is the design truly flawed or is it a manufacturing defect. The end user doesn’t care much either way but the distinction can be very damaging to Apple. </p><p><br></p><p>Also speaks to the rush to manufacturing and failure of agile processs. Probably explains Apples announcement on withholding features and focusing on quality for iOS. I bet the quality initiative is broader than just iOS and MacOS. I am sure they are tired of being in courts for every little thing. I bet it’s a broader cultural effort. Perhaps why no word on Mac Pro ? And the delay on the powermat ?</p><p><br></p><p><br></p>


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