Apple Expected To Ditch MacBook’s Butterfly Keyboard

Apple’s MacBook Pro on display during a launch event at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Stephanie Keith / Getty Images

Apple is planning to ditch its infamous butterfly-switch keyboard, currently found on newer models of the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air, according to a report from MacRumors.

This information comes from TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who is known for his accurate predictions as it relates to Apple products. Kuo claims Apple’s 2020 refresh of the MacBook lineup will feature an all-new keyboard, which will use a more durable scissor mechanism instead of the current butterfly keys. Kuo also said that the new keyboard will be introduced on Apple’s upcoming 16-inch MacBook Pro later this year, as previously reported by The Inquisitr.

“We have revised our prediction that the keyboard of the 16-inch MacBook Pro that will launch in 4Q19 will feature the scissor mechanism instead of the butterfly mechanism,” Kuo’s report states.

“The refresh versions of other MacBook models in 2020 will change to adopt the scissor mechanism keyboard, too. We estimate that shipments of MacBook models that choose scissor mechanism keyboards will reach 400k, 10mn, and 16mnunits, respectively.”

The new 16-inch MacBook Pro is expected to be released in October and will cost over $3,000, according to a report from Apple Insider. The larger laptop may also come with a 3072 x 1920 display and thinner bezels than Apple’s current MacBook Pro models. Kuo’s report suggests that the new machine will likely be sold alongside the existing 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro models until 2020 when Apple releases newer models.

The news of Apple’s decision to switch out its keyboard mechanism couldn’t come at a better time, as keyboard complaints have been common for Apple users.

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The butterfly key-switch keyboard was initially introduced in 2015 on the 12-inch MacBook. The company later made the move to implement the new “short-travel” keys on the rest of its laptop lineup, including the MacBook Pro. However, since the keyboard’s introduction, customers have been voicing countless complaints about the keyboard not working as it should. According to users, one of the most common issues is the sticking of individual keys on the keyboard, due to foreign particles getting trapped underneath. These sticking keys often result in double letters appearing while typing or the required letter being skipped completely.

Apple has made several attempts to correct this issue over the years, but with very little success. Most recently, the company added a protective and flexible layer underneath the keys to prevent foreign particles from getting in and blocking the keys. This small change worked for some users, but others still had complaints.

However, Kuo claims that the new “scissor mechanism will improve the [overall] typing experience by offering longer key travel and better durability by adopting a glass fiber for a reinforced structure,” MacRumors detailed.