Apple apologizes for ongoing reliability problems with its MacBook ‘butterfly’ keyboards

“Nop, I havn’t fogottn how to wit. No did my dito go on vacation,” Joanna Stern writes for The Wall Street Journal. “You s, to sha th pain of using an Appl laptop kyboad that’s faild aft fou months, I could only think of on ida: tak all th bokn ltts out of my column.”

“A poposd nationwid class-action suit allgs that Appl has bn awa of th dfctiv natu of ths kyboads sinc 2015 yt sold affctd laptops without disclosing th poblm. Som popl with ths nw thid-gnation kyboads hav askd to join th suit, says Simon Gill, an attony at Giad Shap, on of th law fims involvd in th suit,” Stern writes. “‘W a awa that a small numb of uss a having issus with thi thid-gnation buttfly kyboad and fo that w a soy,’ an Appl spoksman said in a statmnt. ‘Th vast majoity of Mac notbook customs a having a positiv xpinc with th nw kyboad.’ If you hav a poblm, contact Appl custom svic, h addd.”

Stern writes, “I appciat Appl’s apology, but until th company says goodby to th buttfly onc and fo all, it’s impotant to undstand why it baks, and what you might b abl to do about it.”

In Apple's latest attempt at a "butterfly" keyboard, dust largely stays around the exterior of the new silicone shield, but particles can still make their way past the barrier over time negatively affecting usability. (Photo: iFixit)
In Apple’s latest attempt at a “butterfly” keyboard, dust largely stays around the exterior of the new silicone shield, but particles can still make their way past the barrier over time negatively affecting usability. (Photo: iFixit)

“For any Appl nginrs and xcutivs rading,” Stern writes, “this is th xprinc you’r providing to customrs who shll out $1,200 or mor—somtims a lot mor. This is th xprinc aftr THR attmpts at this kyboard dsign. It’s tim to stop prioritizing thinnss ovr usability. It’s tim to st th buttrfly kyboard fr. Lt it fly…far, far away.”

Read more, where you can turn the missing E’s and R’s on if you like (unlike owners of Apple’s shitty broken keyboards) in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We pay for excellence, Apple. In every area. In every service. In every product.

Your mission is to delight the customer. Period. Everything else will follow.

Customers with your portable Mac keyboards don’t sound delighted. One’s even complaining in The Wall Street Journal, no less.

In what has become a more common occurrence in recent years, you failed, Apple. What are you going to do about it?

BTW, we told you so:

The law of diminishing returns can also be applied to industrial design. Apple’s eternal quest for thinness eventually runs into issues such as bulging camera assemblies, battery capacity, strength (breakability), etc. – is Apple’s quest for thinness now bordering on the quixotic?

So, is it “you can never be too thin” or is it “thin enough is thin enough?”MacDailyNews, December 21, 2015

Hey, Jony: Enough with the thin.

Everything is thin enough. Sometimes too thin. 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

WSJ: Apple has fixed their butterfly keyboard, but it’s only for pros – for now – July 23, 2018
Teardown of MacBook Pro’s new butterfly keyboard reveals improved protection against dust and debris – July 19, 2018
Conflicting information distributed inside Apple about reason for silicone MacBook Pro keyboard membrane – July 19, 2018
Keyboard shootout: 2018 vs. 2017 MacBook Pro butterfly keyboards compared – July 17, 2018
So, about Apple’s new MacBook Pro butterfly keyboard – July 17, 2018
How Apple is fixing faulty keyboards in their new MacBook Pro models – July 16, 2018
Two things seem obvious about Apple’s MacBook Pro keyboard – July 13, 2018
Apple’s revised MacBook Pro butterfly keyboard: Quieter may not be enough – July 13, 2018
Apple says new MacBook Pro keyboard won’t fix sticky key issue – July 12, 2018
Apple’s new 2018 MacBook Pro models now available with revised butterfly keyboards, much faster performance possible – July 12, 2018


    1. No you don’t. She was trying to point out the inferiority of the butterfly design including its crappy design causing all that she typed. That’s my take on it.

    2. I draw butterflies artistically with my giant pen. Is that going to fix Apple’s keyboard? Sadly no, but I do like to wave my pen around as much as possible, it’s easy when it is just so damned large.

  1. I found it not hard to read this at all.. lol. I am writing with a new mbp keyboard, no issues.
    Apple is now the “no new trick pony”.
    Money and fancy shoes will never make you great.
    MAGA…. Make Apple Great Again…

  2. REALLY! Just a bit of dust causes the keys to malfunction? That’s crazy. I’ve had Apple keyboards I’ve used for a decade and they worked just fine. Of course, I don’t eat food when I’m on my computer to avoid crumbs.

    Why the heck is Apple having problems with such a simple thing as a keyboard and no other computer manufacturers are? Apple loves to overthink components and ends up messing things up. What was Apple trying to prove? Wanting to have the lowest profile keyboard or something? I honestly don’t understand why Apple has to make these keyboards where you can’t just replace a single key mechanism but have to replace the whole darn keyboard.

    1. Yup. This is my fear with the rumoured “modular” part of the new Mac Pro. They’re solving a problem that doesn’t exist anywhere except in some hipster hardware designer’s head.

      We pay a premium for features. Thinness stopped being a useful feature and has become more and more a burden over the last half a decade.

    2. Thankfully, if you bring your acting up laptop to an AASP or Apple they will replace the whole upper cover which includes new trackpad and other thing attached. It’s an unannounced recall of sorts and costs the owner nothing. Be firm but nice.

  3. The quality of some of Apple’s hardware and software causes one to question whether they have abandoned quality assurance, and simply ship the product and let the customers find the errors.

  4. Have the 2016 MBP. I like the KB, although it is a bit loud. However:
    1. I use my old MacPro kb when I’m at my desk. (Use the numeric keypad for music software.)
    2. Given the bad press/problems, I immediately bought a thin, transparent keyboard cover which helps protect it. Most people don’t even realize it’s there till I remove it to show them.

    No problems so far.

  5. Reason #4 why I bought a refurb 2014 MBPro 15 instead of a brand new machine.

    Reason #1 – Ports. I like ports. HDMI. USB.
    Reason #2 – SD card slot. Use it every other day on average.
    Reason #3 – Upgradable SSD.

    1. YES.
      In retrospect, I would advise anyone to seriously consider a fully loaded MBP 2014, because of the reasons you mentioned.

      Especially high schoolers and incoming college students.

      Apple needs at least one laptop which offers a regular or fusion drive option. (unless they are prepared to slash their ridiculous, nosebleed SSD prices.)

  6. I love Apple. I will choose Apple computers before the others. BUT, Apple needs to remove its “head” from its “ass.”

    Enough with the crappy keyboards. From iBooks (white) to PowerBooks, to 3 MacBook Pros (06/10/13), the keyboards were never even a hint of an issue.

    Tim needs to just accept he goofed. Even Jobs could say he “fucked up” and right the ship, when necessary.

    1. If you still have that 2013 MBP, hang on to it. My wife has a 15″ one and I feel it was the last solid all-around model they made.

      I have a maxed out 2015 15″ and the keyboard is nowhere near as good. It’s not as bad as the butterfly ones but doesn’t compare to my wife’s or my old 2012 13″.

      I’ve gone to using the old wired aluminum iMac keyboards for everything. They’re cheap and replaceable.

      1. Angelus520,

        Ditto. Several years ago Best Buy had those keyboards on sale. I bought 3 and received an additional bulk discounts. Gave one away as a present, still using one with my Mac mini, and have one as a backup. I love these keyboards. One of the best keyboards Apple made.

  7. The butterfly keyboards are the single reason I am still using a 2010 MacBook Air, despite the fact that I would love to have a Mac laptop with a retina display. They’re just an embarrassment, and far below the standard Apple should be setting.

  8. Having read this article on another side I’m glad to see they at least have a four year program for warrantee. Although I have AppleCare on my 2017 MacBook Pro the extra year will be good I’ve never hated a machine more than this one. My laptop is treated like a baby no reason for it and within 2 1/2 months the keyboard was broke twice. I made a huge stink with Apple getting managers on the phone with me it’s an excusable the keyboard is an Autre piece of shit. In my opinion they shouldn’t even be selling the machines that have this keyboard until they fix the issue which is going to be in a redesign. So far so good it’s been fine for three months but the underlying issue doesn’t change this keyboard will continue to be a problem until it goes into the trash. Apple should be ashamed of what they’re doing

  9. Hey, Jony: Enough with the thin.

    Everything is thin enough. Sometimes too thin. 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. –

    WELL SAID!!! Had to repeat it!

  10. From Jon Gruber at Daring Fireball:

    “I consider these keyboards the worst products in Apple history. MacBooks should have the best keyboards in the industry; instead they’re the worst. They’re doing lasting harm to the reputation of the MacBook brand.”

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