Apple is Finally Addressing One of Their Biggest Problems
If you use a MacBook, you have probably heard about or experienced one of the biggest failures in design that Apple has. The butterfly mechanisms that control the keys on the keyboard are sleek, comfortable, and a major failure. The design was to help make the keyboard thinner, particularly for the MacBook Air. This has been a long running issue for Apple, but they have finally decided to do something about this. They are now offering free repairs to all affected models.
What is the Problem?
Starting in 2015 with the MacBook, and then all 2016 and newer models of MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, Apple used the butterfly keyboard. The purpose of this was to create a thinner keyboard, thus a thinner laptop. The new switch mechanism also allowed for a lighter key press that was supposed to be more ergonomic. These aspects were indeed effective, but there was a major fault with this.
The butterfly mechanism, with as thin as it is, is more prone to mechanical faults from dust, debris, and daily usage. Apple recommended using compressed air to clean the keyboard. Users responded that this either did not work, or only worked temporarily. Prior to Apple taking action, there were 2 options to fix this. If you still had warranty coverage, you could ship of your laptop for a free repair that could take up to two weeks. If you were out of warranty, you could pay up to $700 to repair the keyboard.
What Has Apple Done?
In June of 2018, Apple started a keyboard repair problem. This program was designed to fix user issues in MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air by replacing the butterfly mechanisms in the keyboard. This originally only covered models 2015-2018. In May of 2019, they added all of the 2019 models to this repair program as well for faulty keyboards. This program only covers 4 years from the date of purchase though. In addition, certain newer models were excluded from this. These models had a 3rd generation keyboard with a silicone barrier behind the key to help prevent dust and debris from getting under them. worked better than the previous models, but still was subject to issues.
This repair program conveniently rolled out a month after a class action lawsuit was filed against Apple in regards to their butterfly keyboards. This leads me to believe that Apple did not want to launch the program, but had to be proactive in what could be a several hundred million dollar settlement.
How Can You Get Your Free Repair?
Now Apple has announced that any MacBook model with the butterfly style keyboard can be replaced at no charge to the customer. Simply take your MacBook to an authorized Apple retailer, or contact customer support. Apple is putting emphasis on MacBook and MacBook Pro models, encouraging you to take them to your nearest Apple retail store. Here the staff will make the repairs in house and strive for a one day turnaround time. Some of the MacBook Air models may need to be sent in for repairs due to the complexity of the slim components.
Apple is rumored to be phasing out the butterfly keyboard in their upcoming models. These will have a traditional scissor style keyboard. This will add a little bit of thickness, but Apple believes the difference will not be noticeable to most people.