“A titan of tech and industrial innovation has been laid low by a mere speck of dust. Last week, Apple quietly announced that they were extending the warranty on their flagship laptop’s keyboard by four years,” Kyle Wiens writes for iFixit. “As it turns out, the initial run of these keyboards, described by Jony Ive as thin, precise, and “sturdy,” has been magnificently prone to failure.”
“The first-gen butterfly keyboard showed up in 2015, but the real root of the problem dates back to 2012 in the very first Retina MacBook Pro. That radical redesign replaced their rugged, modular workhorse with a slimmed-down frame and first-of-its-kind retina display,” Wiens writes. “And a battery glued to the keyboard.”
“The basic flaw is that these ultra-thin keys are easily paralyzed by particulate matter. Dust can block the keycap from pressing the switch, or disable the return mechanism,” Wiens writes. “You can’t switch key caps. And it gets worse. The keyboard itself can’t simply be swapped out. You can’t even swap out the upper case containing the keyboard on its own. You also have to replace the glued-in battery, trackpad, and speakers at the same time. For Apple’s service team, the entire upper half of the laptop is a single component. That’s why Apple has been charging through the nose and taking forever on these repairs. And that’s why it’s such a big deal—for customers and for shareholders—that Apple is extending the warranty. It’s a damned expensive way to dust a laptop.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Aiyiyi.
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. – MacDailyNews, June 25, 2018
By the way, who’d be in the market for a “MacBook Tough” that’s thicker and heavier, but built like a tank with 3-day battery life?
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 admits its MacBooks and MacBook Pros are broken – June 25, 2018
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