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Apple may be gearing up to replace controversial MacBook keyboard

Cult of Mac 2019-07-04 15:15:58
The butterfly keyboard design hasn't been one of Apple's most popular innovations.
Photo: Apple

Many fans hated the controversial butterfly switch keyboard that Apple introduced in 2015. While it’s since worked to improve it, the MacBook keyboards’ low-travel design has caused plenty of handwringing among the Mac faithful.

They might not be around for too much longer, however. According to a new research note from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is set to replace them with a whole new keyboard switch mechanism. This will debut with the 2019 MacBook Air.


The butterfly keyboard mechanism has caused all sorts of headaches. While many users simply hate how they feel, in other cases it’s caused more serious reliability issues. Apple issued a rare apology for its butterfly keyboard problems earlier this year.

However, while it said that only a “small percentage of the keyboards” have serious issues relating to sticky or unresponsive keys, it’s apparently ready to ditch them. Kuo says that an all-new scissor switch design will arrive with this year’s MacBook Air refresh. It will then arrive on the MacBook Pro in 2020.

Coming soon to a MacBook near you

The new design supposedly uses glass fiber to reinforce the keys. Hopefully it will have more travel than the butterfly keyboards, currently in their third generation.

The reason may not just be due to user complaints, either. Kuo says that the butterfly keyboards were pricey to manufacture, due to low yields. The new design will be more expensive than typical non-Apple laptop keyboards, but cheaper than butterfly switches.

Source: 9to5Mac