Apple Announces Service Program for Butterfly-Switch Keyboards

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Apple’s new service program won’t increase key travel for the butterfly-switch keyboards in the MacBook or MacBook Pro, but it does eliminate any worry about a $700 repair if your keyboard fails after the warranty expires.

A while ago I noticed my lower case c often didn’t get into displayed text; I hadn’t sorted out if my weak 4th finger, non-dominant hand was the cause or the butterfly key. Still haven’t sorted that out. Likely now have to pay more attention to rate of dropped letters on my butterfly keyboard MacBookPro (TouchBar) versus older desktop iMac.

So they’ll replace the keyboard with… what? The exact same sort of keyboard? The problem is with the design, so changing the keyboard will just relieve the problem for a short time.
I’ve gone through four cans of compressed air in the year that I’ve had my MacBook 12"; changing the keyboard will start be from scratch, but I would expect the same problem would recur within a month or two.


Seems like the right thing to do. It’s clear that the keyboard simply isn’t as reliable as earlier keyboards (the key travel & feel is separate preference issue, I think).

The problem is with the design, so changing the keyboard will just relieve the problem for a short time.

Well, but “less reliable” means that the failure rate is 10-15%, which means that a replacement keyboard should, we hope, be in the 85% side, where things are reliable. Not all of them break.

I am glad Apple owned up to the problem, though I wish they could be faster. At first the solution proposed was to tip your computer up at an angle and use a can of air made no sense to me. Then I realized the angle is to allow bits to be blown out of the keys and to fall away from the keyboard. Blowing out when the computer is flat would just move the crumbs around. So the angle makes sense now.

Daniel, I switched to the Dvorak keyboard layout 20 years ago, and strongly recommend it. Far easier on weaker fingers. it took me about 3 months to learn (which admittedly were frustrating as hell).

Another late update: my left command key is on the fritz, and another Apple cleaning hasn’t helped—but the launch of the replacement program means a one-week wait without my MacBook Pro while it’s turned around. That’s a long time to switch back to my Air. Likely to put up with it until it’s a one-day turnaround, or until it breaks entirely, whichever comes first.

Rumor has it that replacement keyboards get the 2017 model, not the 2018. Seriously considering trading in my 2016 13" for a 2018 15" if I can budget it.