Happy ending for Apple keyboard 'scandal'?


#1

After tons of negative press, Apple has finally launched a repair programme for recent MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops, whose keyboard would become partly unusable due to small particles of dust/crumbles getting under a key. The only solution was to replace the whole top case of the laptop!

As usual, it took them long to fully acknowledge the issue, and it is not clear if they will be replacing affected keyboards with improved ones. But it’s a start - if you know anyone who paid for such really expensive repairs, let them know they’re now elegible for a refund. Hopefully they’ll improve the design of the keyboard before releasing new models.


#2

This is great news and about time!
Good to see they’re covering all models with this keyboard too. It’ll be interesting to see how they change the design for future models


#3

Apple just launched an updated version of their MacBook Pro, with an apparently less noisy keyboard. iFixit took it apart, and it turns out that each key has an additional membrane of silicone, most likely to reduce chances of dust entering the keys. We have no idea whether this improved keyboard will also be installed on previous models when serviced, hopefully so - ultimately this should reduce Apple’s repair costs

https://ifixit.org/blog/10279/apple-macbook-keyboard-cover-up/


#4

And of course I was wrong, Apple confirms the new keyboards are exclusive to the latest model

Quite a shame! One of the commenters says ‘this is another example of planned obsolescence’ - hard to argue with that! I’m sure they’ll say it’s due to the design of the top case etc etc…


#5

As much as I’d like my macbook keyboard to be quieter I wonder if the skirt in the new key design affects thermal characteristics, i.e. whether some heat that may go through the keyboard would be trapped.


#6

Fair enough - aside from noise considerations, we can only hope that Apple has improved the design of the replacement parts they use for previous generation MacBooks. In an ideal world, they would be required to be more transparent about this, and also release data about the incidence of the problem. In a comment to a post about this, I read that it affected 4 out of 50 machines in a company - anecdotal evidence, sure, but 8% would be quite massive!


#7

This is a pretty cool response / test by iFixit, involving neon paint


#8

Intentionally or not, Apple released the improved keyboard when they started to replace the old faulty keyboard. How clever they are, I would say,.

Unhappy ending for the existing users…


#9

You guys really understand what is going on here ?

The manufacture recalled the defective devices to repair it. and they use the same defective part as the replacement.

You guys are more interested in the new product, which is nothing to do with the original defective model… Hope you do understand how marketing manipulation works.


#10

Interesting video there @RestarToshi , thanks for sharing. Luke made a good point in the video about this not being the first time they’ve done this with defective parts.

I think we’re all on the same page here. As Ugo mentioned above, it’s definitely disappointing to see that Apple seems to be replacing older defective keyboards with the same model and not the updated one.

I liked iFixit’s response too @Janet. This seemed like a nice summary to me:

Apple may claim that they design products to last—and that designing for repairability compromises the durability of a device—but this keyboard misadventure belies those points. If a single grain of sand can bring a computer to a grinding halt, that’s not built to last. If said computer can only be fixed by throwing half of it away and starting over, that’s not built to last. We’re definitely excited to see improved protection on these machines—consumers deserve it with the prices they’re paying. But if Apple had designed their keyboards for longevity in the first place, instead of chasing thinness at all cost, maybe we’d be in a whole different timeline, where MacBooks are repairable, and they never canceled Firefly…

Interesting to note in iFixit’s teardown that they found some particles could still get under the keys despite the new membrane. It raises the question: will owners of the new model end up in the same situation a year or so down the line?