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Apple finally admits their MacBook keyboards kind of suck

It’s about time.

macbook pro keyboard macbook keyboards
Image: Unsplash

For months, many MacBook and MacBook Pro users have taken to social media and Apple forums complaining about having issues with MacBook keyboards that use the “butterfly” design. It has gotten so bad that class action lawsuits have popped up over the issue. Apple has finally acknowledged a problem exists and is introducing a free keyboard repair program to resolve it.

The Keyboard Service Program for MacBook and MacBook Pro computers address the “small percentage of the keyboards” that suffer from at least one of the following behaviors:

  • Letters or characters repeat unexpectedly
  • Letters or characters do not appear
  • Key(s) feel “sticky” or do not respond in a consistent manner

If you believe your computer is having any of these problems, you can find an Apple Authorized Service Provider, make an appointment at an Apple Retail Store, or mail in your device to the Apple Repair Center.

Apple explains,

The type of service will be determined after the keyboard is examined and may involve the replacement of one or more keys or the whole keyboard. The service turn-around time may vary depending upon the type of service and availability of replacement parts.

Each of the computers affected has one of Apple’s so-called “butterfly” keyboards installed, which first launched on the MacBook in 2015. The mechanism was later added to MacBook Pro models.

MacBook and MacBook Pro models supported by the program include:

  • MacBook (Retina, 12-­inch, Early 2015)
  • MacBook (Retina, 12­-inch, Early 2016)
  • MacBook (Retina, 12-­inch, 2017)
  • MacBook Pro (13­-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2016)
  • MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2017)

It’s great Apple has finally admitted there’s a problem here. Previously, those who experienced keyboard problems were forced to spend upwards to $500 to get the problem fixed. Those folks can now contact Apple to get a refund.

Customers who experienced keyboard problems but were forced to pay out-of-warranty repair fees for their damaged MacBook or MacBook Pro models can contact Apple to inquire about a refund. In some cases, repairs for keyboard issues were priced at upwards of $500.

At this month’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple failed to introduce a new MacBook model, which now makes sense given this news. It will be interesting to see if the 2018 MacBook lineup uses a butterfly keyboard mechanism or something else.

Have you had issues with the MacBook keyboards? Tell us your stories below.

For other Apple news, see:

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Bryan considers himself a well-rounded techie, having written articles for MakeUseOf, KnowTechie, AppAdvice, iDownload Blog. When he's not writing, he's being a single dad and rooting for his alma mater, Penn State, or cheering on the Patriots.

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