Apple lied to me about the MacBook Air’s defective butterfly keyboard and now we have a problem

“I’d heard the stories. I’d read some of them, too,” Chris Matyszczyk writes for ZDNet. “Apple’s latest MacBooks, the stories said, had clearly been designed by a bunch of inebriated Beelzebubs who were tired of retrograde customers thinking laptops were still relevant. Or could this have merely been the interns’ summer design project? … When the kerfuffle about the MacBook’s butterfly keyboard first began, I wanted to believe this was just an isolated design flaw, one which Apple had now solved. Yes, it was Cupertino’s third attempt at solving it, but third time, charm etc.”

“I took an extra precaution. I went to a couple of Apple stores to see if employees would follow the company line or let slip that this was a much bigger deal,” Matyszczyk writes. “[The Apple store saleswoman said], ‘There’s no way dust can get in because they’ve put an extra layer of plastic underneath to make sure it doesn’t.’ My heart skipped a beat in glee. At a different Apple store, a saleswoman told me that no, no, she’d never even heard of such keyboard problems. She added that her own MacBook worked perfectly. There. I had my answers. This was an isolated affair. I could now go on a long trip, confident that my Air would not deflate beneath me.”

“So, after landing at London’s Heathrow Zoo, I thought I’d spend a few jetlagged minutes before my connecting flight writing pithy words about, oh, nothing immediately came to mind, but hopefully I’d think of something,” Matyszczyk writes. “I began to write, hoping soon to find sense. What I found instead was that my M key had endured a difficult flight.”

“Yes, despite Apple’s third attempt at fixing it, I was yet another of the keyboard victims. Or, as some would surely prefer, losers,” Matyszczyk writes. “I’ve owned perhaps 20 or more Apple products over the years. Not once has any of them started to malfunction in the first six months. Many of them never malfunctioned at all. Yet here is one of Apple’s most lauded, stable products — one that I once described as the company’s best-ever product — reduced to a pathetic mess by a combination of arrogance and inattention.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Just checked again, Apple “management.” Nope, this still isn’t going away.

(“Management” is in quotes for a reason, because real managers – as in, competent; even vaguely – would have fixed this problem years ago.)

If the butterfly keyboard is all a grand plan to move people to iPad Pros, it’s a bad plan.

Whistling past the graveyard isn’t a viable strategy, nor is it delighting customers (you know, the actual mission that Steve Jobs left you to accomplish). This ongoing self-delusion at Apple that “maybe, it’ll all just go away” is however working wonders on trashing the reputation of portable Macs. So, if that’s management’s goal: Excellent job so far! (This isn’t the way to move iPad units, guys!)

File yet another one under “Tim Cook’s Apple.” We warned that stuff like this would continue to happen unless the underlying root causes were properly addressed over four years ago.MacDailyNews, May 2, 2019

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. — John Gurber, March 27 , 2019

Apple is the most successful broken company in the history of the world... The butterfly keyboard is but one manifestation of Apple’s issues. The AirPower fiasco (printed on AirPods boxes no less) is another. Five+ years and counting with a dead-end goofball design on sale as the company’s flagship Mac, yet another. Need we go on? There have been many easily avoidable screwups over the years and, until the root cause is fixed — this stems from the very top with misplaced priorities and conflict aversion, to name just two biggies — these snafus will likely continue, further eroding Apple’s brand in the process.MacDailyNews, April 2, 2019

MacBook Pro keyboard failures: Apple blames dust to excuse poor engineering design – May 2, 2019
Apple will now fix broken MacBook keyboards within a day as problems persist – April 25, 2019
Heat, not dust, the enemy of Apple’s butterfly keyboard design? – April 9, 2019
Tim Cook is not the best person to be CEO of Apple – April 2, 2019
The MacBook keyboard fiasco is way worse than Apple thinks – April 2, 2019
Apple apologizes for ongoing reliability problems with its MacBook ‘butterfly’ keyboards – March 27, 2019
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
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015


  1. Here’s an idea, Apple: Before building rainbow stages, hiring Lady Gaga, and throwing parties to congratulate yourselves, fix your shit.

    And where TF is my Mac Pro, you lazy assholes? Even Dell could’ve produced several different models of Pro towers in the 5 or so years where you’ve done nothing but navel gaze and count your stock options.

    FAT and LAZY. Human nature. Apple succumbed just a few years after Steve left the building for the last time. Tim Cook failed. Too much SJW virtue-signaling and not enough focus on the products that made Apple great.

    1. The brutal truth is… if you’re STILL waiting for a Mac Pro, then part of the problem lies in your blind allegiance to a company that clearly doesn’t care about what you want. Yet, you’ll still sit pining away for a Mac Pro while the company you love builds rainbow stages, hires Lady Gaga and go running down every SJW virtue-signaling thing they possibly can.

      1. Yup.. and while they are at it they have also quintupled the company’s revenue from SJ times and are selling +/-250 BILLION dollars worth of products annually!…… Yup they really have a Huge management problem.🤦‍♂️😂

        1. They can generate a lot of revenue updating and iterating what Steve Jobs left them and still be bad managers. The butterfly keyboard, AirPower, Mac Pro, etc. etc., etc. prove they’re inept managers,

          1. Ya it grew 5 fold by its self…. Give me a break….. and oh ya there are absolutely no new products or innovations.. ..thats laughable.. ( along the lines of everything good happening at Trump times is because of Obama … its total bigotry and prejudice..)
            Cheery picking the few negative to nullify the absolute stellar performance…. thats just trolling.

            1. Are you seriously suggesting that revenue alone dictates management’s competence?
              Then your gains and dividends should be paid in product.

            2. This is virtually the same thing that happened with the switch from the early Steve Jobs era to the John Sculley era. After Jobs walked Sculley grew the business dramatically. Then a lack of attention to details and a belief that the more, and more diverse, products (remember the QuickTake camera? the Pippin?) the better. One of Sculley’s major focuses was profit, that and gross volume. Just before the dark days it was rarely quality or amazing products people had yet to know they needed. Then came the dark days due to a lack of attention to getting the job done right.

              I’ve said it here for a few years. Tim Cook is John Sculley 2.0. My only hope is that Apple does not really enter a dark period like what happened in the 90s.

    2. That’s My opinion too they spent too much time in that circle kingdumb fucking around instead of doing work. The keyboard is a piece of shit I continue to live it. I’ve told managers on the telephone I will never buy another Apple MacBook ever. GARBAGE. I’ve never hated an Apple product more than my 2017 MacBook Pro. Tim Cook is a useless piece of shit.

    3. Amen & Hallelujah! Does anyone know about any current class action lawsuits for this issue, as every single time it happens I lose a lot of income because everything is on the MacBook that I need to run my swamp business and my husband small business doing the administrative work for him?

  2. The repair would require a fundamental, perhaps a complete redesign, where a new key design woul force a linear cascade of subsequent redesigns to the motherboard, power supply, hinges, and the screen. This means a total redesign but there is no romance or interest in it. Senior executives are pointing fingers; no one executive — and neither Tim Cook nor Ive — taking responsible leadership to get the butterflies fixed.

    1. True, it would require a redesign, but they already have a solid & proven keyboard design from a few years ago that merely needs to be reused…and because its a legacy item, the NRE is basically zero, and the cost risks are low because it was a production item.

      And so on through the design. One needs to keep in mind that the butterfly keyboard was in of itself a “change for change’s sake” in making the laptop a millimeter or so thinner, which had no particular utility for the user.

  3. Yes, Apple is overy-focused on ancillary/peripheral activities at the expense of its core. I think I know why: Basic, fundamental stuff is boring while new stuff is exciting so EVPs may be competing with eachother to take primacy over new stuff.

  4. I’m starting to see keyboard ‘misses’ on my new “magic” space grey keyboard. I’m assuming it’s the same design for the keys. No problems with my older keyboard (aluminium, battery tube at top of keyboard) with Mac Mini, but magic KB connected to MB Pro starting to misbehave well before 12 months since purchase.

  5. Apple gets another chance to announce a new MacBook Pro at WDC. We’ll see what will happen then.

    As far as the Mac Pro you can bet that Apple is asking Intel each week about when delivery of the new processors will happen. Can we say A14, A15 and A16 processors coming sooner than Intel wants? Even number processors for the computers and odd number ones for mobile devices.

    1. I suspect the AppleIntel discussion is a little different than your scenario.
      Intel is saying, “When you lazy, lardasses get off your fat behinds, we’ll have processors for you.”

      1. For mobile? Oh HELLS no. Intel STILL hasn’t shipped Coffee Lake. Mobile is around 80% of Apple’s Mac business, so not having a solution for 4 years running is an Intel embarrassment.

        For desktop, yeah, they’ve been lax on that 20% of the biz.

        1. Wrong Again… an apt name.

          Name one, just one, Mac in the last few years that has shipped within days (or even a week or so) of Intel announcing a new processor is shipping in quantity. Just one.

          Intel has been shipping the latest Xeon processors in quantity that would go into a new Mac Pro (or even an updated iMac “Pro”) for about eight weeks now. Will Apple be shipping the mythical, new Mac Pro even by the end of June 2019? Hell, we’ll be lucky if it ships before the end of this calendar year!

          There have been times over the last few years (think < 3 years) where Apple has shipped new Macs as much as 10 months AFTER Intel has started shipping those chips in quantity.

          Is Intel running later than they had announced five years ago. Absolutely. Is the tick-tock dead? Yes. However, Apple is adding months, sometimes many months, to the delay. Customers are waiting on Apple. Apple is NOT waiting on Intel.

          Anyone (yes, ANYONE) that tries to hang Apple’s continuously late updates to the Mac lineup on Intel either is unaware of reality or is choosing to ignore reality.

          Intel announced the rest of its 8th gen processors about the beginning of April. Several manufacturers announced products based upon them within days or weeks. Where’s Apple’s new products (including laptops as the announcement included laptop chips, even the low power “U” chips)? Will Apple announce such laptops at WWDC (maybe to ship by July) that use these chips announced eight weeks ago? Maybe. Maybe not.

          1. “Name one, just one, Mac in the last few years that has shipped within days (or even a week or so) of Intel announcing a new processor is shipping in quantity. Just one.”
            Well, it’s the SAME one I list every single time someone asks this. Apple announced the MacBook Air. And, the processor in it? It was announced, and listed on Intel’s website AFTER Apple announced the MacBook Air. So, in the mobile space, where Apple cares, they’re interested in pushing Intel to provide a solution to them even BEFORE they make it available to others. And Intel obliges BUT Intel was only able to produce ONE speed in suitable quantities. Not a range of speeds as they generally release for their desktop solutions.

            “shipping the latest Xeon processors”
            Not mobile, Apple doesn’t care.

            “Where’s Apples new products”
            Intel won’t be shipping a suitable processor until June at the earliest, with volume shipping not until the end of the year. Meaning most folks won’t see them until late this year, early next year. And, that’s only if Intel meets their promised dates. And no, Apple isn’t going to announce a new laptop being released next January in the spring of 2019.

            1. Don’t let today’s refresh fool you. Those chips are built on the 14nm++ core, they’re not the 10nm Ice Lake chips we’ve all been waiting for. But, again, it shows that Apple’s focus is on the mobile market where most of their macOS money is made. Here’s hoping that Intel is finally able to get to 10nm later this year… in volume.

  6. Another strange example; I bought the base 2019 model iMac 21.5 – 4K and had to let replace the HDD by a Samsung SSD 512 to be up to date…  a for runner ?

  7. I’m starting to think that the only way this changes is if Apple rolls out a new laptop with the butterfly keyboard at a big show, and is loudly booed by the audience. Otherwise, the message doesn’t seem to get through.

  8. Scott Forstall was fired because Maos was crap. No second chances. It was crap at launch and heads rolled.

    The butterfly keyboard has been crap, three times in a row. Yet no one has been called to account.

    But hey, rainbows.

    1. Fired for Maps debacle was just a bad cover your ass excuse considering Scott’s heir apparent reputation to run Apple. Cook and his cronies, particularly legendary ego designer Ive, were scared 💩less and with Steve gone the mediocre cabal circled the wagons and ousted Forstall. Typical status quo office politics happens everywhere at anytime…

      1. “heir apparent reputation to run Apple”
        Yeah, Apple really missed out because he’s been doing AWESOME as the CEO of a much smaller Fortune 500 tech com…. nah just kidding. He went to Broadway but, he’s driving technical advancements beyond what anyo… nah. Just kidding.

        He’s… He’s just doing Broadway. Regular old… yeah. Apple dodged a bullet. Typical old office favoritism, Forstall’s ONLY claim to fame is being lucky enough to be friends with Steve Jobs at the right time. Every other senior exec that has left Apple ended up in other gigs almost immediately. Forstall concentrated on travel, advised charities and provided ‘informal’ advice to some small companies. Yeah, here we have someone that would have even been WEAKER than Cook.

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