Apple has confirmed that the upcoming MacBook Pro will be equipped with a ‘membrane’ that will ‘prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism.’
This was stated in an internal document distributed to Apple Authorized Service Providers obtained by MacRumors.
An excerpt from the Canadian and European versions of Apple’s internal 2018 MacBook Pro Service Readiness Guide reads:
Keyboard and Keycaps
The keyboard has a membrane under the keycaps to prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism. The procedure for the space bar replacement has also changed from the previous model. Repair documentation and service videos will be available when keycap parts begin shipping.
However, the U.S. version of the Guide does not specifically mention the membrane, but contains a link to a separate internal document titled “Butterfly Mechanism Keycap Replacement MacBook Pro (2018)”:
Caution: The keyboard has a membrane under the keycaps to prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism. Be careful not to tear the membrane. A torn membrane will result in a top case replacement.
Last week, repair experts at iFixit were the first to discover the thin, silicone barrier underneath the keycaps and suggested that this was to prevent dust. Apple filed a patent for a contaminant-resistant MacBook keyboard back in 2016. Thus far, Apple has only confirmed that the 2018 MacBook Pro feature an “improved third-generation keyboard for quieter typing”.