Apple admits its MacBooks and MacBook Pros are broken

“At long last, Apple admitted to its customers that its MacBook and MacBook Pro keyboard designs are so flawed and prone to sticking or dead keys, as originally reported by The Outline in October, and that it will cover the cost of repairs beyond the products’ normal warranty,” Casey Johnston writes for The Outline. “The admission comes after the company has been hit with no fewer than three class action lawsuits concerning the computers and their ultra-thin butterfly-switch keyboards.”

“While the the repair and replacement program covers costs and notes that Apple will repair both single keys as well as whole keyboards when necessary, it doesn’t note whether the replacements will be a different, improved design that will prevent the problem from happening again (and again, and again),” Johnston writes. “Having become a one-woman clearinghouse for people complaining about these keyboards since I broke this story, I feel justified in saying that keyboard failures – dead keys, sticking keys, double-spacing spacebars – appear to happen early and often, and repairs do not permanently fix the issue. I also feel justified in saying that the design on offer as recently as February still presented the exact same issues as the design I purchased in the fall of 2016.”

Johnston writes, “Until Apple confirms that the design of its computers is somehow different, and even maybe then, given its overall poor judgment in this matter, my personal recommendation would still be: don’t buy them.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Form over function will get you every time.

Hey, Jony: Enough with the thin.

Everything is thin enough. Sometimes too thin. (See above.) Thinner isn’t the answer to everything, nor is thinness intrinsic to good design. We’d gladly take a bit more robustness and battery life over more unnecessary thinness, thanks.

Eligible models for Apple’s Keyboard Service Program for MacBook and MacBook Pro:

• 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)

Apple announces Keyboard Service Program for MacBook and MacBook Pro – June 23, 2018
Apple’s MacBook butterfly switch keyboards target of second class action lawsuit – May 23, 2018
Apple hit with class action suit over MacBook, MacBook Pro butterfly switch keyboard failures – May 12, 2018
Report: Butterfly MacBook Pro keyboards require more frequent, more expensive repairs – May 8, 2018
MacBook Pro users petition Apple to recall and replace defective butterfly keyboards – May 3, 2018
Apple’s MacBook Pro keyboards said to be failing twice as frequently as older design – May 1, 2018
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


    1. I JUST ordered an new MBP…..15″…….the previous model. Ports, keyboard etc……..even though I HAVE all the usb-c periferals handy, I will wait until the next version comes out…..

  1. Don’t buy them? This issue has been so overblown. I had a problem with my keyboard two years after I first bought my MacBook Pro so it doesn’t necessarily happen early and often. Since it was fixed, about 12 months ago via Apple Care, I’ve had no issues. I absolutely love my MacBook Pro 13 inch and certainly would not have been happy to be without it over an almost three year period. Just another over blown first world problem to have.

        1. The same can be said of any boneheaded design that ignores real world conditions.

          Stupid fashion over substance. If Apple had real leadership, these designs would be properly developed with serious testing before delivery to the customer. It wouldn’t take >5 years between major improvements either.

      1. So you calling him a liar I presume for daring to give his own experience. This isn’t a forum for just those who do have problems at least until you take over anyway. We need balance not just one viewpoint do those of us with objective minds can get a sense of any potential risk.

        1. I stated a fact. Simple. “Yet, Apple admits there’s a problem…”

          You drew the liar conclusion. Are there not alternate possibilities, such as “your experience is not the general case?”

          Is Apple calling him a liar too?

          Objectivity, my ass! Apologist drivel.

          1. “Are there not alternate possibilities, such as “your experience is not the general case?”

            Ummmmm, yes, the general case being the vast majority of the keyboards have no problems. What Apple said is that a small number of these keyboards have problems and it is bad optics to do nothing about it so they’re offering to fix them.

            You say you love facts so here’s a quote from Apple: “small percentage of keyboards”.

            Apple should have fixed these for free from the beginning but no company gets everything right all the time. Ever had problems with Samsung stuff? I have. Good luck getting anything done about it. You think Apple is bad? Puhlease.

            1. I see, you want to play word games…
              Macraven reported 0% problems.

              “We have a bunch of 15″ MBPro’s in the dept. no problems whatsoever with anything.”

              That’s not the general case.

              Got it?

          2. “I see, you want to play word games…
            Macraven reported 0% problems”

            You’re the one playing games. MacRaven was commenting on their own experience and it is entirely probable that a department would have a bunch of machines with no problems since only a very small number of keyboards are affected.

            You’d have to be an idiot to think MacRaven meant to say there are zero keyboard issues across all machines sold…

            The “general case” falls much closer to MacRaven’s experience than what you are trying to peddle. Most people are not having any issues with the keyboards. A small number are. Those are the facts. if you don’t agree with that then you don’t love facts as you profess you do.

            1. If you want respect, pick a name to go by so you establish a reputation.

              You have emphatically been proven wrong. Macraven spoke of 0% problems, Apple admits there are problems, which means more than 0%, yet you believe that reality represents that is not the case. However “small” you think the problem is, it’s infinitely bigger than zero, as Macraven’s experience would lead you to believe. Reality (and Apple) dispute Macraven’s claim. Got it junior?

              Your being an apologist, and thus have no credibility.

          3. Allow me to quote myself.

            “You’d have to be an idiot to think MacRaven meant to say there are zero keyboard issues across all machines sold…”

            Strange that you are admitting you are an idiot but that’s what you just did.

            BTW, nothing I do should have any impact whatsoever on whether you act like an immature brat. That’s all on you, always.

    1. Same for the damn rubber feet on MacBooks which start falling off after a few years on a machine that will last 6 years or more.

      I went to ACE hardware and put on thick felt adhesive furniture pads and they work 100% of the time and stay put plus giving me something to grab when I pick up a slipery Mac Book.

      Function every time, over and over.

  2. Speaking of form over function, please bring back the wired Apple Extended Keyboard. I don’t mind having a wire attached to the back of my keyboard leading to the back of my iMac. I also don’t mind having two readily accessible UPB ports at my fingertips. Not to mention never having to change batteries, ever.

    I know the ads like to feature hipster types leaning back in their Aeron chairs in their shared workspace, wireless keyboard in the laps, but no one in my design team works like that

    1. I understand what you mean about having the option of a wired keyboard but do prefer a BT one. My problem with the latest Apple BT keyboard is it uses a built in L-ion battery. Three problems with that.
      1. I don’t want to have to take it in for repair when the battery gives out.
      2. To charge it you have to connect it to a USB port thus making it a wired keyboard and taking up a port from something else.
      3. When the battery is low on my current one I just go to the cupboard take out two rechargeable AAs and slot them in. Takes two minutes not two hours for the new one ( this according to Apple).

      And don’t get me started about the Magic Mouse with the bloody charging port underneath.

  3. I’d read great reviews about the low profile butterfly-switch keys when the MacBook 12″ retina early 2015 first came out. I bought one and was immediately frustrated by keyboard due to keys that didn’t type on the first or second try, or got stuck. While I had the keyboard replaced, I never really got used to the keyboard’s low profile style and am just not as fast or accurate with it.

  4. I didn’t even realise that Apple had done away with the wired keyboard. That’s just plain dumb.

    When I bought an iMac in early 2016 I ordered the wired keyboard and dumped the bluetooth mouse in my drawer as it was too heavy. (The wired mouse with the pea sized scroller picks up gunk way too easily and fails as a result.) I replaced it with a wired MacAlley Bumper mouse.

    As soon as I turned on the power I had problems with the logic board which after Apple dragging their feet was replaced under warranty. There’s something to be said for paying a top price for an iMac and then smell burning plastic just after you power it up.

    Of course some of my after market OWC RAM was fried by the faulty logic board and I had to again lock horns with Apple over reimbursement for that as well.

    I was legally covered by Australian consumer law and had to impress upon them that they had a legal responsibility for full compensation. After this they then fell into line and compensated me for my loss. At first they stated I had incorrectly installed the RAM…yeah right!

    To be blunt I’ve been using Macs since 1993 and I used to be a fanboy and initially a defender of Tim Cook. Not any more. They’ve dropped the ball so many times I’ve just about given up on them. My iMac will (hopefully) last for a good while longer and my iPhone 6s Plus has a lot of life left in it as well. After that I’ll reconsider my future as an Apple user. This company is so different from the Apple I knew under the leadership of Steve Jobs and I don’t like it one bit.

    1. “. This company is so different from the Apple I knew under the leadership of Steve Jobs and I don’t like it one bit.”

      I’ve been an Apple user since 1982, yeah I’m an old fart. Clueless Cook is ruining Apple’s reputation for quality and turning the company into his personal liberal political platform.

      MDN your take is one of the best ever …

    2. I replace my batteries once a week on both my keyboard and my trackpad (haven’t used a mouse in years). I keep an opened box of batteries on my desk… NOW i’m going to go home and get my super cool HUGE keyed keyboard with 10key and cord and I’m going to start using it at work to see if I like the old style keys again… because the battery thing is just getting stupid… the one I use at home has charging, so I’m good with that, except the new trackpad sucks and I don’t even remember why. Used Apple products since Apple IIc in 1983? My dad sold them when I was programming Trash80’s in HS.

  5. I smell BS on that vote. There’s no way almost 50% of Mac are failing. The stores and AppleCare would be overrun. I’ll bet it’s likely closer to 10% ( still a poor figure and shameful for Apple )

  6. Much intolerance for ignoramuses… so sad. No problems with my butterflies… but I also use a 32″ BenQ while in clamshell mode. Did hear about a click when you open the shell, though. Gotta get that checked out. For the most part, I love what Jonny does, but as with iPhone… it would be better to pack more battery than make thinner… but we all know it won’t happen; it’s what pushes the industry; but I do wish the same with my MBPro 2016… it already drained too fast the second day I got it.

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