Apple issues apology for ongoing MacBook keyboard issues

David Matthews

TS Maniac
Staff member

Apple has not yet fully recovered from the PR nightmare that is the butterfly switches on the recent MacBooks. The company tried to address the issue with third generation switches by quietly adding a rubber membrane that kept dust out, however people are still reporting reliability issues. Apple issued a rare apology to those who have been affected.

“We are aware that a small number of users are having issues with their third-generation butterfly keyboard and for that we are sorry. The vast majority of Mac notebook customers are having a positive experience with the new keyboard.”

Apple's apology comes in response to a sad, yet hilarious column by Joanna Stern from The Wall Street Journal in which she types the entire article on her MacBook Air without using the 'E' and 'R' keys just to show how annoying the keyboard problems were. Fortunately, the article features switches to toggle on the missing letters for legibility.

Apple's butterfly switches were meant to make it easier to type while enabling the company to make MacBooks even slimmer. But the original design allowed dust and debris to get inside and jam the keys. Apple quietly addressed the problem by instituting a keyboard service program while getting slammed with three class action lawsuits.

Apple hardware products are usually associated with premium build quality and are generally very well received. The company loves to praise the tedious design process that it goes through (complete with a Jony Ive voiceover of course). However, it seems that Apple is putting form over function as of late with their laptops, sacrificing build quality for a sleek design.

Even Apple guru, John Gruber, blasted Apple for the lackluster keyboards. "I consider these keyboards the worst products in Apple history. MacBooks should have the best keyboards in the industry; instead they’re the worst. They’re doing lasting harm to the reputation of the MacBook brand."

While it is good that Apple acknowledged those who are still having problems, they keep downplaying the severity by limiting it to a "small number" of people. Given how expensive Macs are, Apple will need to totally redesign their keyboards if they are to gain back the trust of their most loyal customers.

Permalink to story.

 

noel24

TS Evangelist
I have a friend who is a devoted Apple ecosystem fan and He experienced nearly all of Apple failiures in the last 4 years: yellow spots on iPhone 5 screen, broken screen on first drop of iPhone 6 from coffee table, problems with His Macbook, that warranty in middle-ages Poland didn't covered or He outright refused to send to cause of the conditions And if I recall, at least one problem with Apple update that bricked His phone. Anyway, He refuses to believe It's Apple's fault. Apple is religious cult.Apple doesn't have to apologize for anything. Their user friendly ecosystem is apparently bulletproof against any criticism. As simple as that.
 

D3z4R1

TS Enthusiast
Why can't Apple just revert back to the pre-butterfly keyboard? If it broke, don't fix it.

This is one of the reasons why I won't be replacing my 2013 MacBook Air anytime soon.
 
  • Like
Reactions: onestepforward

VitalyT

Russ-Puss
The stupid butterfly keyboard is what stopped me in 2015 from upgrading my Macbook Pro that I bought in Dec 2013, which as of this day still works perfectly in every way, using the very latest of all the software Apple provides, starting with the OS.

And until Apple fully and irrevocably solves the keyboard issue, I will not consider upgrading.
 

onestepforward

TS Booster
Apple doesn't have to apologize for anything.
So you didn't even bother reading the headline - "Apple issues apology for ongoing MacBook keyboard issues". To make it stand-out, here are the key words, "Apple issues apology". I hate using the L-word, but to be quite blunt you've just lied.
 

onestepforward

TS Booster
And until Apple fully and irrevocably solves the keyboard issue, I will not consider upgrading.
I have to agree. My wife and I have two older MBPs, which we certainly won't be upgrading until this issue with the keyboard is resolved. The current issue might only affect "a small number of users", but there are ongoing problems with the keyboard and general user unhappiness with it.
 
Crap/junk/dust gets into the kb switches and prevents them from fully depressing, I just sent in a user's 2016 MBPro to Apple to get this fixed under the extended warranty. Granted his problem took 3 years and that machine has quite a bit of use on it, but then I have some hand-me-down MacBook Pros from 2011 and 2014 whose KBs are in great condition, also with high usage.
 

D3z4R1

TS Enthusiast
Crap/junk/dust gets into the kb switches and prevents them from fully depressing, I just sent in a user's 2016 MBPro to Apple to get this fixed under the extended warranty. Granted his problem took 3 years and that machine has quite a bit of use on it, but then I have some hand-me-down MacBook Pros from 2011 and 2014 whose KBs are in great condition, also with high usage.
My neices' 2011 MBP and 2014 MBA work perfectly fine. I gave my 2006 polycarbonate MacBook to my 13-y/o nephew and it's working perfectly fine. I gave my 2010 MBA 15" to my sister and she hasn't had any complaints. Build quality was so much better before. Apple needs to return to making quality hardware.

I've urged my family and friends to withhold upgrading their Macs until Apple gets their sh!t sorted out! By then they'll probably end up with my hand-me-downs. lol
 

Aux101

TS Enthusiast
Since Steve Jobs' death (RIP), Apple's product quality has gone south big time!
Nowadays, there's always something wrong. Very sad!
 

Shemp Howard

TS Rookie
Since Steve Jobs' death (RIP), Apple's product quality has gone south big time!
Nowadays, there's always something wrong. Very sad!
There has always been something wrong . . . Since the beginning of time.

And as long as people continue to live the closed, limited, overpriced ecosystem called apple, it will always be so.
 

koblongata

TS Addict
I like the keyboard a lot, it's not the worst design in history, I want one but I cannot since I am a Windows user (no the MagicKeyboard2 is inferior IMHO).

Those people get super upset maybe they care a lot and feel neglected at the same time... Apple needs to show them more love!
 

Latest posts