I wouldn’t go so far as to call the butterfly-switch keyboard design Apple introduced on its 2016 MacBook Pro a complete disaster, but it’s certainly not encouraging that the design continues to frustrate users nearly three years after first hitting store shelves.
Apple at the time boasted that the new keyboard design was 40% thinner than its predecessor while allowing for “greater precision” when typing. That notwithstanding, it’s been well-documented that the keyboard is prone to breaking down if even the slightest bit of debris manages to wedge itself underneath the keyboard. And though Apple has taken measures to make the keyboard more robust, the company just a few weeks ago acknowledged that some users are still experiencing usability issues with its third-gen butterfly keyboard design.
“We are aware that a small number of users are having issues with their third-generation butterfly keyboard and for that we are sorry,” an Apple spokesperson said nearly four weeks ago. “The vast majority of Mac notebook customers are having a positive experience with the new keyboard.”
All that said, MacRumors recently obtained an internal memo which suggests that Apple is now prioritizing MacBook Pro keyboard repairs as part of a broader effort to improve repair times for affected customers.
The memo, which is titled, “How to support Mac customers with keyboard-related repairs in store,” reads as follows:
Most keyboard-related repairs will be required to be completed in store until further notice. Additional service parts have been shipped to stores to support the increased volume.
These repairs should be prioritized to provide next-day turnaround time. When completing the repair, have the appropriate service guide open and carefully follow all repair steps.
A faster turnaround time is nice, but there’s no getting around the fact that spending upwards of $2,000 on a laptop only to discover that the keyboard is prone to failure is simply inexcusable for a company that places a premium on the user experience.
Incidentally, Apple has been hit with a handful of class-action lawsuits over the MacBook Pro keyboard design.