“Apple launched its new butterfly key-switch keyboard with the MacBook, with some usability complaints starting nearly immediately, but it wasn’t until its adoption in the MacBook Pro in 2016 that reliability concerns started popping up,” Mike Wuerthele reports for AppleInsider.
“Following anecdotal reports of a keyboard more prone to failure than in previous years, AppleInsider has collected service data for the first year of release of the 2014, 2015, and 2016 MacBook Pros, with an additional slightly shorter data set for the 2017 model year given that it hasn’t been available for a year yet,” Wuerthele reports. “Not including any Touch Bar failures, the 2016 MacBook Pro keyboard is failing twice as often in the first year of use as the 2014 or 2015 MacBook Pro models, and the 2017 is better, but not by a lot.”
“The increase in number of keyboard events in a decreasing population of first-year service demands is notable. While first-year service calls have gone down with the introduction of the new models, at the same time the incidence of keyboard repairs has gone up, notably,” Wuerthele reports. “Apple has a second-generation MacBook Pro keyboard. It is in the 2017 MacBook Pro, and repaired 2016 models. The repair percentages on those are up from the 2014 and 2015 keyboards as well, but not nearly as much as the 2016.”
“The keyboard isn’t replaceable by itself. Break one key switch, and you need to replace the whole assembly, consisting of the keyboard, the battery, and the upper case metal surrounding the keyboard and Thunderbolt 3 ports,” Wuerthele reports. “We’ve seen out-of-warranty pricing with labor and parts exceeding $700 for the job, and it isn’t an easy repair, necessitating a complete disassembly of the machine.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Yeah, but it’s thinner! You can never be too thin, according to Apple’s industrial design team – even when it negatively impacts usability (bending iPhones, failure-prone keyboards, poor battery life, bulging camera assembly kludges, etc.)
MacBook Pro: The butterfly keyboard effect – April 26, 2018
Where Apple’s reinvention of the keyboard may go next: Full touchscreen – March 14, 2018
Apple’s design decisions and iPhone batteries – January 8, 2018
Hey Apple, it’s time to give up thinness for bigger, longer-lasting batteries – January 6, 2017
Apple in talks to acquire Australian startup Sonder for dynamic key-morphing Magic Keyboard – October 13, 2016
At this point, why make iPhone any thinner? – January 8, 2016
Open thread: What’d be wrong with slightly thicker iPhone with more battery life and a flush camera assembly? – December 21, 2015