Apple doesn’t often admit fault, but the quiet launch of a new MacBook Pro model today, alongside an adjustment to the Keyboard Service Program, seems to be the company’s way of acknowledging that there’s more work to be done to address the butterfly keyboard issues of its laptop line. According to Apple, the keyboard design has been tweaked to reduce double and missed key presses, which users have been complaining about for years.
New materials in the switch mechanism of the keyboard are said to be the solution, and the new design is featured on both the new 15-inch MacBook Pro and 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. But the keyboard design isn’t the only thing that changed, as the laptops are now equipped with 8-core Intel Core i8 and i9 processors.
For those of you who aren’t looking to upgrade, but have any experienced problems with your current MacBook Pro model, Apple has good news for you as well. Every MacBook with the butterfly keyboard design is now eligible for the Keyboard Service Program, going all the way back to the 2015 Retina Macbook. The program still only covers laptops “for 4 years after the first retail sale of the unit,” but your MacBook is likely still eligible if it’s on the list, even if you only have a few months to seek assistance before your eligibility runs out.
According to The Verge, Apple also says that it has taken steps to reduce repair times at its retail stores, but would not specify how it had managed to accomplish this. As the publication points out, iFixit has explained just how difficult a keyboard repair on a MacBook Pro can be, so if the process actually had been expedited in any significant capacity, end users with malfunctioning MacBooks will undoubtedly appreciate the results.
Apple has been through all kinds of hardware controversies over the years, many of which have had far more lofty names than they truly deserved, but the case of the butterfly keyboards has been long-standing and widespread. The fact that Apple is going this far out of its way to appease frustrated consumers is proof enough that the sheer number of complaints has forced Apple’s hand, but it remains to be seen whether the company has done enough.