Apple has finally admitted to what we already knew: there is a serious problem with the butterfly key mechanism on its most recent MacBook and MacBook Pro keyboards. The company has announced a new repair program that affects every single laptop that uses the butterfly key mechanism from the 2015 MacBook to the 2017 MacBook Pro models.
Apple says that affected MacBook Pro models may encounter one or more of the following symptoms:
- Letters or characters repeat unexpectedly
- Letters or characters do not appear
- Key(s) feel “sticky” or do not respond in a consistent manner
These are exactly the same problems that users have been complaining about for years and have in recent months resulted in multiple class action lawsuits. In fact, one publication even reported that he failure rate for 2016 MacBook Pro keyboards was as high as 12 percent, which is quite disconcerting.
Apple says that it will replace malfunctioning keyboards — which involves replacing the whole top half of the chassis — free of charge. There is no indication whether Apple is replacing the keyboards with the same faulty key design or if the company has redesigned the butterfly mechanism to make it more robust.
In addition, Apple says the keyboard warranty is being extended to four years from the date of purchase. All other MacBook/MacBook Pro maladies fall under the standard one-year warranty.
The following devices are eligible for this warranty replacement program:
- MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015)
- MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2016)
- MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, 2017)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016)
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017)
It’s unfortunate that it took social media outcry and lawsuits for Apple to act, but it’s better to act late than never. And for those of you that have already paid out of pocket for keyboard replacements, Apple will reimburse your costs.