Apple, after multiple class-action lawsuits, has finally admitted that the butterfly keyboards used in recent MacBook and MacBook Pro models are unreliable and prone to failure. This admission, and recently introduced repair program, come only after the lawsuits and research that indicates Apple keyboards are twice as likely to fail when compared to traditional keyboards used on older models.
Apple has released information on a keyboard service program for MacBook and MacBook Pro models that include the flawed butterfly keyboard design.
Eligible Macbook models
Models eligible for repair 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)
There’s a catch…
While this news is a relief to many frustrated MacBook owners, it does come with a catch. Apple’s detailing the repair program states that “If your MacBook or MacBook Pro has any damage which impairs the service, that issue will need to be repaired first. In some cases, there may be a cost associated with the repair.”
This is likely a move to recoup some of the program’s cost, much like their iPhone battery replacement program where users reported that issues unrelated to the battery, such as a faulty speaker, had to be fixed prior to any repair related to their phone’s batteries.
MacBook users who have already paid for repair related to the problem may be entitled to a refund from Apple.
Is a make-good enough?
While the program is going to solve a lot of MacBook users’ problems, is it too little too late? Has the year-plus-long avoidance of the issue tarnished Apple’s brand reputation? It’s a bit tough to provide an objective answer, but future earnings reports and sales numbers on new MacBook models will reveal the answer.
Ultimately, Apple makes good hardware, along with amazing user experiences, and most consumers are willing to pay a premium for it. Unfortunately, a lack of competition (as with the PC market’s multiple brands) can lead to a decrease in critical support for products, leading to a lower than expected product experience.
As a Managed Service Provider to creative businesses around the country, we’ll be keeping an eye on the situation as Apple begins to repair faulty keyboards.
What’s your opinion? Is Apple doing enough to solve this problem? Share your thoughts in the comments below!