Apple has apologized to a “small number” of customers for the ongoing issues facing MacBooks with a butterfly keyboard.
The company’s statement comes after an embarrassing piece in The Wall Street Journal by Joanna Stern, titled Appl Still Hasn’t Fixd Its MacBook KyboadProblm, who said “Apple’s third-generation butterfly keyboard was supposed to fix all the previous defects but buyers are still having problems”. It was an interesting piece – made humorous through its stylization – a clear dig at the Cupertino company, missing all Es and Rs.
“It’s tim to stop pioitizing thinnss ov usability,” she wrote. “It’s tim to st th buttfly kyboad f. Lt it fly…fa, fa away.”
In a press release, Apple said: “We are aware that a small number of users are having issues with their third-generation butterfly keyboard and for that, we are sorry,” and added that “the vast majority of Mac notebook customers are having a positive experience with the new keyboard.”
The butterfly switch
From 2015, Apple switched out its keyboards to a butterfly-switch design to reduce the thickness of the devices, but many have criticized the design for its lack of reliability and ergonomics.
Whilst the butterfly keyboard was designed to offer the same feel as previous generation models, it does not offer the same springy feel like a traditional keyboard, which can be offputting for power users and those who type for long periods of time.
A year after the first generation butterfly keyboard, the company added a rubber membrane, designed to prevent against dust which had made some models unusable.
The company then issued an extended repairs program to “fix” butterfly-switch keyboards, but users have still faced issues, even those with 2018 MacBook Pros.
Daring Fireball’s John Gruber also weighed in on the ongoing drama, telling readers that he considers “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.”
Whilst it’s good to see Apple publicly acknowledge that the keyboards are an ongoing problem, the firm needs to do more to address the issue and improve the keyboard for future MacBook iterations. It will be interesting to see whether Apple will distance itself from the latest drama, or whether it will introduce a new free repair scheme for users.
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