Apple’s butterfly-switch keyboard introduced with the 2015 MacBook turned out to be a nightmare for some users. The design continues to frustrate users even three years after its release, but now, it appears, Apple has realized the mistake. As a result, Apple has reportedly prioritized the repairs for faulty MacBook keyboards.
Shorter turnaround time for repairs
An internal memo (obtained by MacRumors) notes that Apple is stocking the retail stores with the required parts so that the Genius Bar technicians can fix the issue with the faulty MacBook keyboards at the store itself, rather than sending the device to an off-site service center.
The memo – titled How to support Mac customers with keyboard-related repairs in store – says that the “additional service parts have been shipped to stores to support the increased volume.”
Moreover, the memo also instructs the employees to aim for next-day turnaround when it comes to repairs. “These repairs should be prioritized to provide next-day turnaround time,” the memo says.
If true, these are welcome changes from Apple to address one of the major issues with the MacBook. Users have been facing the issue with the “butterfly” style keyboard ever since its launch around three years back.
Though the butterfly style keyboard allowed Apple to slim down the MacBook, it also resulted in several problems, such as keys sticking, not responding or popping out of place. While launching the keyboard, Apple claimed that the new design was 40% thinner than the earlier model and allowed for “greater precision” when typing.
However, the issues were enough to overshadow these benefits of the MacBook keyboards. These keyboards are prone to breaking down even if a minute piece of debris manages to get underneath the keyboard. The issues with the butterfly style keyboard even triggered some class action lawsuits against the iPhone maker.
Faulty MacBook keyboards – the story so far
In 2018, Apple came up with a keyboard service program to address the issues with some of the MacBook and MacBook Pro models. The free repairs program was for the 12-inch MacBook that came out between 2015 and 2017, as well as, for the MacBook Pros from 2016 and 2017.
Moreover, to ensure that the 2018 models wouldn’t suffer from the same issues, Apple added a silicone membrane to the third-generation of the keyboards.
Also, after The Wall Street Journal highlighted the issue recently, Apple apologized to “a small number” of customers who have continued to face an issue with the faulty MacBook keyboards. “We are aware that a small number of users are having issues with their third-generation butterfly keyboard and for that we are sorry,” Apple said last month.
Now, Apple is taking a step further to ensure that users experiencing the issue are not subjected to more frustration when it comes to waiting for the repairs. A faster turnaround time is good news for the affected users, but it still doesn’t justify the fact of spending more than $2000 on a laptop only to need to take it to the repair facility.
Affected users must visit Apple’s Get Support page and book an appointment with an Apple Authorized Service Provider or a Genius Bar.
Biggest MacBook delayed
In separate news, Apple is expected to launch an edge-to-edge 16-inch display MacBook Pro this year. Trusted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also noted a similar thing in a research note earlier this year.
Currently, the biggest MacBook features a 15-inch display. However, Kuo believes that the 2019 device could get up to a 16.5-inch screen, but the new device would have the same physical dimensions as the current one. To give users a bigger screen, Apple would offer an edge-to-edge display. Apple adopted a similar approach with its latest iPad Pro refresh.
However, a recent report from MacRumors claims that Apple has postponed the 16-inch MacBook Pro, which was expected to come sometime later this year. The report notes that the bigger MacBook would now come out in 2021.
The report gave no clear reason as to why Apple is delaying the bigger MacBook. It could be due to the unavailability of certain parts, or Apple not being satisfied with the design or any other reason. Issues with the MacBook keyboards could also be a possible reason for the delay.
Though the 2018 MacBook users have not yet raised any issue with the keyboard, Apple possibly wants to take some more time to ensure that the latest MacBooks are free from such issues.