Apple expected to drop butterfly keyboard and return to scissor switch with new Macs

Apple could be on the brink of ditching the butterfly keyboard mechanism it’s used in MacBooks since 2015, with a new keyboard featuring scissor switches.

The company has faced significant criticism over its keyboard designs in recent years, as the low-travel design has caused issues such as stuck keys, repeated inputs, and loud clackiness when typing compared with a typical keyboard.

Apple has refreshed the butterfly keyboard mechanism four times since its introduction to attempt to address user complaints, and most recently launched its ‘third generation’ butterfly keyboard featuring all-new materials.

It also issued a replacement programme for users with any butterfly keyboard in the past.

Of course, the ergonomics and feel of a keyboard are dependent on a whole host of factors, and we’re not suggesting that everyone dislikes the butterfly keyboard, but the truth is that Apple has struggled to persuade users it’s the right choice – particularly on high-end devices like the MacBook Pro.

Now, according to rumors from Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is expected to drop the ill-faited keyboard and introduce a design based on scissor switches, which will offer increased durability and more key travel.

The first device to receive this all-new keyboard design will be the MacBook Air refresh, expected later this year.

Apple will also give the MacBook Pro the new scissor switch keyboard, but that won’t be until next year at the earliest.

Remember that the company is expected to roll out a new 16-inch MacBook Pro with an ‘all-new design’ this year, too.

Though Apple has used scissor switch keyboards in the past, this new keyboard features a “whole new design” that uses glass fiber to reinforce the keys.

According to Kuo, the new keyboard is “expensive to manufacture” because of low yields, but won’t cost as much as the butterfly components currently used.

It had previously been rumored that the new MacBook Air, set for release this fall, would simply be a spec bump – but this latest report suggests there’s an evolution of the device and we can’t wait to see further changes later in the year.

Are you glad to see the back of the MacBook butterfly keyboard? Let us know on Twitter using @AppleMagazine, and check back soon for the latest from us.

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Everything Apple, every day. This post was written by an AppleMagazine newsroom writer.