Apple apologizes for and downplays MacBook keyboard problems

JC Torres - Mar 28, 2019, 12:00 am CDT
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Apple apologizes for and downplays MacBook keyboard problems

This is probably the closest disgruntled MacBook owners will get to a public acknowledgment from Apple. It’s close to four years now since the company introduced a brand new keyboard technology that, for just as long, has been causing headaches and heartaches. The third generation MacBook “butterfly” keyboards have supposedly addressed those but, as per Apple’s own admission, is still affecting a number of users. It’s just that, according to Apple, it’s a small number of users.

The butterfly mechanism was meant to make MacBooks even thinner by reducing the height of keys without reducing their comfort or travel. For the most part, it delivered exactly that but the side effects were far worse than anyone imagined. The keys, it turned out, were prone to failing when dirt and dust got in and it has lead to no small number of complaints, including a class action lawsuit.

They say third time’s a charm and the third generation MacBook keyboards included a rubber membrane to protect the keys from larger particles. It was still susceptible to smaller ones like sand and the more delicate butterfly mechanism might not be ideal for hard typists.

Responding to continued complaints and criticisms, an Apple spokesperson reportedly admitted that Apple is “aware that a small number of users are having issues with their third-generation butterfly keyboard and for that we are sorry.” It may sound like a canned response but it’s a big deal considering the company has never publicly admitted the problem.

That said, it is also practically saying it’s a non-issue. “The vast majority”, the spokesperson says, are a having positive experience. Unfortunately for Apple, it’s a very vocal set that’s ready to sue it when the opportunity arises.


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