back to article MacBook Pro petition begs Apple for total recall of krap keyboards

The long-simmering dislike for the keyboard on recent Apple MacBook Pro computers has reached peak pique: A fed-up MacBook Pro owner identifying himself as Matthew Taylor has created a petition asking Apple to recall every MacBook Pro released since late 2016. "Every one of Apple's current-gen MacBook Pro models, …

  1. Iain Gilbert

    Apple fix it or people will move

    Not just the MBP, we’ve got 2 MacBooks and both have been in multiple times for collapsed keys.

    The other half loves the keyboard but I hate it, so much so that I bought an old Lenovo X240 to use to do more heavy work than the MacBook.

    Seriously looking at Alternatives now, Huawei’s Matebook is looking very nice.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Apple fix it or people will move

      It can't. The design of the keyboard is a result of overall form factor choice. It simply cannot fit an alternative keyboard design into anything that thin. So let's be real there will be no fix and no retrofit.

      1. Lusty

        Re: Apple fix it or people will move

        The Surface Laptop manages to get a pretty great keyboard in, and that's thinner and lighter than the MBP.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple fix it or people will move

      I wih t makkee aa forrmaai coompplaint: Oh ffuuuck thhis AApplee:

      1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: Apple fix it or people will move

        "I wih t makkee aa forrmaai coompplaint: Oh ffuuuck thhis AApplee:"

        Or as my Mac would write this:


        Just signed the petition. Not that it will bother Apple one bit, but hey.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Note to Apple- it's bordering on criminal in terms of design.

        "I wih t makkee aa forrmaai coompplaint: Oh ffuuuck thhis AApplee:"

        Looks like you need to replace your keyboard!

        These two videos* show the effort that is required to get access to the keyboard. Unbelievable, not the replacement process, the effort Apple have gone to stop you, it's bordering on criminal in terms of design.

        Part 1 / Part 2

        Damning evidence and why you should never buy a Macbook Pro w/touchbar. These two videos alone should stop anyone buying one.

        *By youtuber Fixstudio (thanks for posting these).

    3. Wibble

      Re: Apple fix it or people will move

      People won't move for that requires a change in operating system which effectively means moving to that Windos crapware. Apple may treat their customers really badly, but Microsoft.... Just plain no.

      The new keyboards and Macbook Pros are horrible with a keyboard where it's hard to feel the position of the keys, not to mention are outrageously expensive -- the new Apple "Magic" keyboard is now £150.

      Nowadays, being an Apple customer does leave one with the feeling of being treated like a wizard's sleeve.

      1. jgarbo

        Re: Apple fix it or people will move

        And here's silly old me, behind the times, running Linux on an ancient T40 Thinkpad, all keys perfect, 15 years on. I thought Apple was for kids' games. Grown ups actually use that trash for writing?!

        1. katgod

          Re: Apple fix it or people will move


          Yes and all those transistors when you could use tubes and whats with digital music, vinyl sounds so much better, leave the streaming and modern computers to the kids.

      2. Cavehomme_

        Re: Apple fix it or people will move

        “Windows crapware”

        No, they have a real choice, they can buy whichever Windows laptop they want that has a much better keyboard and then...install Linux, some distros being near enough to OSX as to be a real choice.

        Yes, Garbageband and Pages etc won’t work of course, but working with online versions of Office 365 will work fine and i can see quite a few professionals deserting Apple over the coming years as this once excellent company further degenerates.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Apple fix it or people will move

        Nowadays, being an Apple customer does leave one with the feeling of being treated like a wizard's sleeve.

        Surely it's Apple who are behaving like an utter wizard's sleeve? Any fix will be hugely expensive, but in the context of money being "returned" to investors, sorting it out was easily within Apple's resources. They're just choosing not to because they know most customers will remain bizarrely loyal to the brand.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Apple fix it or people will move

          At least in an emergency an ordinary cheap USB keyboard could just be plugged in to an available USB port so the owner could keep working.....

          Oh... wait...

      4. NogginTheNog

        Re: Apple fix it or people will move

        At least with Windows you get to choose the hardware - of which there are many competing designs?

        1. d3rrial

          Re: Apple fix it or people will move

          @NogginTheNog you'd think that, but when I dual boot into Windows 8.1 Pro with my i7-8700k I get the message that my CPU is too new for my Windows version and that I either need to use an older CPU or buy Windows 10.

          An error message that minimises all other windows btw., on an OS that I only installed because I wanted to play games that don't yet work in wine.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Apple fix it or people will move

            "or buy Windows 10."

            So you ignored the free upgrade for several years and now it's Microsoft's fault?

      5. Lusty

        Re: Apple fix it or people will move

        "People won't move for that requires a change in operating system which effectively means moving to that Windos crapware. Apple may treat their customers really badly, but Microsoft.... Just plain no."

        Urrrm no. Apple are literally the only people who don't play well with others now. The Surface is a standard laptop which will run any OS. Apple won't licence OSX to run on it, despite being compatible.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Apple fix it or people will move

          The Surface is a standard laptop which will run any OS

          Except MacOS. Or any variant of linux that requires the SecureBoot enclave to be unlocked..

          Apple won't licence OSX to run on it, despite being compatible

          Two things - how do you know it's compatible? You can't test it.. (and look at the various Hackintosh forums to see the pitfalls of trying to get MacOS working on non-Apple hardware). Secondly, Apple did license their OS out to other vendors many years ago and it nearly killed the company. Apple were (and are) primarily a *hardware* company (which makes the current situation all the more baffling - they've let form dictate function which goes against their design philosophy) and they make their money off hardware (and the services associated with that hardware - the OS isn't one of them since they give it away free to anyone who has their hardware).

          Since their focus is selling hardware, allowing others to undercut them will again imperil the company. Why would anyone pay £2500 for a top of the range Macbook Pro if they could get a knockoff clone for £1200? Even if the knockoff clone came with serious reliability issues (ha!) then there would be enough people who would go for that option to seriously undercut Apple. Ditto for iOS.

    4. SuccessCase

      Re: Apple fix it or people will move

      Having just had the top cap (e.g. the entire keyboard and battery arrangement) of my MacBook Pro replaced because of this problem I have a few things to say about this issue.

      The problem is very real and extremely annoying. A reliably functioning keyboard is of course absolutely essential for getting work done.

      For me the problem isn’t - for the most part - how the keyboard works as designed, when new, I personally mostly like it very much. The problem is how the design fails to retain reliability when confronted with common real world usage scenarios.

      In fact I love the limited key movement and I think there are very good arguments limited movement with a good mechanical activation action, where the keys can take the weight of a rested finger without activating, but activate consistently when deliberate pressure is applied is best. If all keyboards were this way when we started to learn to type, I think there are very few people who would want to move to a less economical keyboard where more movement is required. In other words, I suspect, what people say they like has a very large component of what they are used to rather than being based on what is actually best.

      The problem with the new keyboard is with the phrase “activate consistently.” When the machine is new, the activation is very and - for the limited travel - impressively precise and consistent. The problem is that when debris gets under the keys, the activation stops becoming consistent. It is absolutely essential with a keyboard that when a mechanical key passes the activation point, e.g. clicks down. Even if it is pushed past that point with the slightest of pressure, that the key activates EVERY SINGLE TIME. It is on that point where the new keyboards start to fail within a relatively short period of time (for me it was about 6 months). This problem has been made worse with they new keyboard because, for purely aesthetic reasons, there is an extremely tight tolerance between the plastic key and the surrounding metal laptop case, which means the key “well” becomes a debris trap. Once it has gone in, there is no easy way to get it back out again. This tight tolerance together with the limited travel is a major cause of the problem.

      Secondly, though I love the mechanical action of the keys, the design fails in other ways.

      1. The keys are too large. This is again, I think, for aesthetic reasons. But actually, contrary to common thinking, overly large keys are a problem. You can’t feel the edge of the keys easily enough, and lose a sense of if your hand is sitting in the right posisition on the keyboard. When keys had a concave surface this wasn’t an issue. Also, I’m typing this on the iPad Pro keyboard. It is much “cheaper” looking than the MacBook Pro keyboard. Yet the typing action is actually superb. I think I miss-key less on this than my MacBook Pro and the reason for this is precisely because the key caps size are smaller. Crucially the distance between the keys remains full size. People often complain about smaller keys, without taking this into account that actually they smaller size means “no looking” touch typing hand position can be more easily determined I can tell you, I can type faster and more consistently on the iPad Pro keyboard than on my new MacBook Pro keyboard even though the mechanical action of the keys on the latter is superior (having said that the non mechanical action of the keys on the rubber iPad keyboard is superb - far better than my brain thinks, based on looks alone, it has a right to be).

      2. For aesthetic reasons the arrow keys are make so the left and right are the same size as the up and down key combined. I don’t know a single touch typing user who finds this arrangement easier to “touch type” with than the older arrangement. I find this very annoying and, worse, Apple, I am reminded of my annoyance at the design EVERY SINGLE TIME I MISSKEY.

      The customer support at Apple was very good. The keys would only fail to register occasionally, but it would happen enough that it was extremely annoying. They didn’t try testing it and then arguing it wasn’t happening every time as I feared they might. The most common really annoying key combination failing being cmd+x leaving an actual x in my text instead of cutting the selection (so clearly the cmd key was failing to register if not pushed hard enough) would only fail about once a day, but even that is enough to be extremely, *extremely* annoying. They accepted that and replace the whole top case.

      But the design problem remains, I have no faith the stuck keys issue will not return in another six months. For sure I will be extremely careful not to use the keyboard in a dirty invironment (for sure eating lunch by the laptop is now a no no). It’s far too much money to have spent on a premium product for it to have a non premium problem in the design like this.

      Apple really need to work hard to sort this out. And yes there should be a recall. I don’t accept the design is limiting in a way that these problems can’t be overcome, even with the exact same form factor. Indeed, I think they have made improvements since the first generation version I purchased, so we will see if it lasts better.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does no one see the problem here?

    Left mac a couple of years ago because quality doesn't match price anymore.

    The fact that your only recourse is a f**king petition shows just how much of apple's bitch you are.

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: Does no one see the problem here?

      And let's be honest - the petition will probably bother Apple not one bit. So even that 'recourse' is essentially worthless.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Useless Apple

    How on earth did this keyboard design get past any kind of real world testing? It sounds like they made one, tried it for 10 minutes, and then committed to it for production.

    Presumably reverting to a more traditional design is a non starter. They'd have to redesign the case to be, what, 1 mm fatter? Whilst they're at it they could make the battery fatter too, get some more charge out of it. And how about upgradeable RAM whilst they're at it?

    1. TFL

      Re: Useless Apple

      Sure, they could make it thicker, upgradeable and all that. Of course, then it's a ThinkPad, which is what replaced my dead MBP. I went the full "mobile workstation" route, with a P50. Multiple drive bays, three empty RAM slots, *lovely* keyboard. I don't give a rat's ass that it's thicker or heavier, it works better.

      Oh, and I even found an adapter to take the Apple-specific SSD, to put it into a small enclosure to create effectively a SATA-compatible laptop drive. That's in the ThinkPad now as another 500GB that was just going to sit idle in the dead Mac.

      1. angardner

        Re: Useless Apple

        I am really sorry for you that you decided to switch to thinkpad. MBP is still far and far above anything else. Thinkpad is total crap. I bet you run Windows on it too. Its powershell and bill gates vs. terminal. you lose.

        1. TFL

          Re: Useless Apple

          Well, I kept a little Windows partition, basically for iTunes and a couple games. The vast majority of the time it's Linux Mint... again, back to having a stronger element of control.

          Sure, I could have paid to have the main board replaced on the MBP ($700CAD), right after dropping $300 for the battery replacement that also requires replacing the keyboard, trackpad, and case top. Because you know, gluing it all together is just peachy when one thing goes. The main board is probably mostly-good too, but the charging circuit died. I couldn't even pay for a main board with more soldered-in RAM, because Apple will only do like for like replacement. Yes, I'd be paying for the part, but there is basically an inflated price and then a "discount" unless you get precisely the same part.

          If I had had the repair done, it still would have left me with an out-of-warranty, never-upgradeable laptop with some stuck pixels in the display. This new one is warrantied *and* I can get in there myself to do upgrades, imagine that! Oh, and built like a tank.

        2. georgezilla Silver badge

          Re: Useless Apple

          No need to be sorry.

          I don't use Windows.

          Nor do I use OS X.

          And I too have a terminal. Have had if for years.

          On top of that, my hardware is just as fast as yours. With more cores/threads. More ram. More storage. IS upgradeable. And cost HALF of a MBP.

          So no. Don't be sorry for me. Be JEALOUS of me!

        3. FuzzyWuzzys

          Re: Useless Apple

          "MBP is still far and far above anything else."

          It used to be. Born and bred in the 8bit era, moved up through Windows until the blessed light of Lord Jobs found me one Summer morn in 1998 and I bought my first Mac. At one point, with just 3 people in our house, we owned 4 iMacs and 3 Macbooks. Verily the Lord Jobs did smile upon our blessed house. All the while I continued to spread the good word as I toiled among the heathens in their Solaris, HPUX and Linux world. I tried hard to spread the good word of the Lord Jobs but then the Church of Apple succumbed to the vile will of dirty money, they saw that they valued vanity and money over quality offerings. The Cook has taken the word of the Lord Jobs, corrupted it, lead his flock astray by the introduction of sub-standard offerings. My faith strained to breaking point until one day it snapped. I installed VirtualBox on my iMac, I learned in secret that Windows and Linux were not evil, just alternatives and that they had value and much to offer. The heathen Gates and his lackey Balmer had worked hard on their own good word and it was good once more, blessed was the way of Powershell, pure and clean. Our very own Luther, Linus had worked hard and had established his own following, once again, good an strong. I also began once more to work in the infinite possibilities of custom hardware. The haze lifted from my eyes and I found there was a new true way, the "way of balance" whereby we can all co-exist in a tolerance and respect. I now build my own hardware and look for whatever works best when I need it. Sometimes OSX, sometimes Windows and other times Linux.

          Now I preach the word of "horses for courses", sure you can pay a premium for expensive hardware to run what is a good verison of Berkley Unix with a superb GUI, and OSX is a damn fine O/S but don't let the light of Jobs blind you anymore my son. Be at peace with all the world and it's varying viewpoints.

          There is still an elegance in the offerings from the Church of Jobs but having ascended to meet his own maker, the money-lenders entered the temple and now there is no one to cast them out. Apple doesn't care for us anymore, if they ever did, greed and corruption abound in the once pure Church of Jobs and I won't pray there anymore.

          1. badger31

            Re: Useless Apple

            Amen, brother. Preach it!

          2. imaginarynumber

            Re: Useless Apple

            "There is still an elegance in the offerings from the Church of Jobs but having ascended to meet his own maker, the money-lenders entered the temple and now there is no one to cast them out."

            Jesus wept- are you really blaming it on a Zionist conspiracy? Personally I see it as little more than the Reality Distortion field being weaker since Jobs kicked the bucket.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Useless Apple

              "Jesus wept- are you really blaming it on a Zionist conspiracy?"

              Its truly amazing how many staggeringly dumb people there are on this site.

              Go look up "analogy" you brainless gimp.

            2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

              Re: Useless Apple

              "Jesus wept- are you really blaming it on a Zionist conspiracy? "

              At least as seriously as saying that Jesus cried His heart out when he heard this.

              PS @Boltar I'd have gone with bellend - opening the way to a raft of circumcision jokes...

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Useless Apple

          You do realise Gates hasn’t been involved with MS (apart from collecting dividends!) for oh what a decade?!

    2. Howard Hanek

      Re: Useless Apple

      ....the chimpanzes they use to test have a much lighter touch I guess.

    3. charlieboywoof

      Re: Useless Apple

      Seems the norm now all over Apple, the customer is R&D

  4. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Daring Fireball blogger John Gruber, who built a substantial following based on his thoughtful appreciation of Apple technology and design

    Well he's about five years about of date.

  5. Grikath

    I'm disappointed.....

    4 hours+ in, and there's no influx of raging Fanbois who're falling over themselves to vehemently protest about the unfair and biased reporting about Fruit inc. by Vulture Central.

    Ith Thradhition! Poor commentards are missing out on lazy weekend trolling..

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: I'm disappointed.....

      Not all of the commentards are missing out on lazy weekend trolling, obviously...

    2. macjules

      Re: I'm disappointed.....

      From the flaming above I would say that by now lots of mom's basements have an angry fanboi busy ranting.

    3. kain preacher

      Re: I'm disappointed.....

      It's Cinco de Mayo in the sates. Basically an excuse to get shit faced like saint Paddy day.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Sink o'the Mayo?

        What? Is that like an Irish thing? Or when you empty all the old Hellman's jars down the drain because you find it's all out of date when you get it out to go with the salad accompanying the first BBQ of the season?

      2. Allthegoodhandlesaretaken

        Re: I'm disappointed.....

        They would be but they havent got a working keyboard at the moment..

    4. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: I'm disappointed.....

      "4 hours+ in, and there's no influx of raging Fanbois who're falling over themselves to vehemently protest about the unfair and biased reporting about Fruit inc. by Vulture Central"

      I'm usually fairly pro-Apple, but as I type this on my oh-so-thin 3-month old MBP, hammering the shit out of the spacebar, left-shift, 'g' and the '3' to get them to register, whilst trying to actually turn off iPhone wifi instead of it just 'pausing' until tomorrow, and wondering whether I have all 7 adapters I'll need for my presentation tomorrow AND trying to figure out whether the battery will die at 30% battery again like it did today, I really can't bring myself to give it the fanboi ra-ra at the moment.

  6. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Visual elegance

    It's bizarre that Apple is discarding every single desirable trait except for the visuals. Apple laptops may be beautiful but they make me think of dongle adapters, expensive repairs, impossible upgrades, walled gardens for data, strange feature selections, and searching endless websites of superstitious cures to strange software glitches. I've found newer ones frustrating to use at work even when there's an IT department that should be taking care of it. The Chinese laptops are starting to look nice.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Visual elegance

      Behold the OOBE!

      Still get that waft when you open the nearly airtight box...

  7. JLV

    hope this takes off

    Recent MBPs are visually nice, but aren't that great under the covers.

    The keyboard, even when it works, doesn't have a very pleasant tactile feedback. And, in my 4 weeks before I returned the MBP it did manage to get a key semi-stuck on a speck of dust once.

    The touchpad, which can be toggled on to remain in function key mode, provides NO tactile feedback whatsoever. This is highly annoying when you are using something like a text editor which relies on function keys.

    Add to this outrageous SSD prices and non-serviceability, despite having really good repair shops near me.

    I would regret leaving macOS when my MBP dies - I like not having to configure the OS and its GUI much - but Linux is going to be a strong consideration unless they get their act together.

  8. DJV Silver badge

    "We also asked a brick wall"

    Lego or real bricks? Playmobile reconstruction of said event, please?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: "We also asked a brick wall"

      Don't know about a whole wall, I can't afford that-- but if/when a lone brick seems to be no good for talking, you're just holding it wrong.

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

        Re: "We also asked a brick wall"

        If the Reg had listened carefully, they may have heard a slight echo from the brick wall. Not very helpful, but better than nothing

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think Apple will fix this

    There clearly is a design flaw and the complaints are only going to multiply now that the issue has reached the mass media.

    I predict a fix or refund deal coming along within the next month.

    1. FuzzyWuzzys

      Re: I think Apple will fix this

      I have upvoted you purely based on your wonderfully pure optimism in the face of a multi-billion dollar company you think actually cares.

      I'll tell you what will happen. Apple will release a new MBP version, with a fixed keyboard. All the true zealots will rush out to buy it, love it to bits, dump their old kit on the second-hand market and forgive Apple for everything. Those that remain with theie busted keyboard on the old model will quietly be fixed as there will so few that Apple will not have to perform a mass recall and get any bad press.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I think Apple will fix this

        I think there are more reasons to be positive than your post suggests. Apple's solution to the iPhone slowdown issue, whereby they will replace out of warranty batteries for $29, seemed reasonable to me.

        1. imaginarynumber

          Re: I think Apple will fix this

          On the face of it did sound reasonable but according to the BBC Apple have been going to great lengths to charge customers for unrelated or even imaginary "damage".

  10. scrubber

    Issue 1 of a comic

    What is wrong with you people? This is a work of art, you aren't supposed to use it, you're supposed to appreciate it and to do that you have to hermetically seal it and never let the dust or dandruff reach the internals, or the sweat and grease from your hands destroy the perfect aesthetic of your $1.5k work of art.

    1. JLV

      Re: Issue 1 of a comic

      >$1.5k work of art

      $1.5k? if only :(

      seriously, what are some good Linux alternatives?


      - not HP. not Lenovo (remember that spyware). not System76. Not Acer.

      - aluminum case for durability

      - 16 gb ram. swappable RAM, SSD.

      - 15, better 17", screen, 1080p


      - very good trackpad that can be turned off when mouse is used. No Windows-only hardware.

      - if not preinstalled Linux, sane USB boot installation, with a BIOS that will pick up an install disk, not fight you to the death.

      - (not really hardware). backup as easy and reliable as Time Machine.

      Can be heavy and expensive, looking to keep it for a while. I'm thinking a gaming laptop has the oomph and build quality.

      1. lglethal Silver badge

        Re: Issue 1 of a comic

        I loved my ASUS ROG laptop. Used it to bits for 3 years and its still going strong, although I dont use it anymore as I've reverted to a desktop computer (not travelling as much anymore).

        The aesthetic is pure gamer of course, but build quality was great, and you could do whatever you wanted with software. It was rather heavy, and the only hardware failure I suffered was one of the fans (one of four) that died. A good graphics card (an actual card not integrated graphics) and strong processor meant it was everything i wanted/needed.

        Cant comment on the latest ones though, but ASUS seem to be going for high quality components for their ROG line, and all the ROG stuff in my desktop is still going strong with not a single failure so far. The high quality of their laptop components, created a return customer in me for their desktop stuff, and i havent been disappointed so far.

        1. Ahab Returns

          Re: Issue 1 of a comic

          Another vote for Asus. I've got a couple I use pretty much daily (and all day) for testing. Two years old, one Windows 8.1, one Linux. I also have a MacBook pro but apart from the nice display I don't get what the fuss is about.

          I've never taken one apart, but the iPads I've tried to repair in the past resembled cheap cigarette cases with components randomly glued in place. By contract, my Nexus had all the components nicely mounted on a little aluminium chassis.

          I'm from the sixties so I expect stuff to last.

      2. Stoneshop

        Re: Issue 1 of a comic

        not Lenovo (remember that spyware).

        As such something to be wary of, but it would only work on Windows. As you're planning to install Linux, that would make it a non-issue.

        From :

        "Built into the firmware on the laptops' motherboard is a piece of code called the Lenovo Service Engine (LSE). If Windows is installed, the LSE is executed before the Microsoft operating system is launched."

        if not preinstalled Linux, sane USB boot installation, with a BIOS that will pick up an install disk, not fight you to the death.

        The only UEFI laptop that has nearly[0] ended as tiny splinters under a forcefully and determinedly wielded Fubar XXL was an Acer Aspire Switch 10. Not that I have much experience there beyond that one, just a couple of HP handmedowns from work and someone else's Sony (IIRC). My least ancient Thinkpads are X201's, and those still have a conventional BIOS which has no qualms about letting you boot from USB.

        [0] until I thought better of it and figured that there would probably be someone who would be stupid enough buy it and use it as is, with W8.1

        1. JLV

          Re: Issue 1 of a comic

          Whether it's Windows related or not is besides the point. Lenovo, for me, is a company that shows it can't be trusted and will go out of its way, not just misconfigure, to put a few $ ahead of its customers' privacy and security.

          I also avoid Sony for the CD DRM rootkit. Really childish of me, I know.

          How you feel about that incident is entirely your decision, I don't claim to be more right than you are.

        2. J. Cook Silver badge

          Re: Issue 1 of a comic

          I'd like to point out that the "T" series (i.e. the thinkpad branded models) were never part of this; those are generally the only models I'd recommend.

  11. tempemeaty

    We should take a poll if Apple will say you're typing it wrong...

    Apple's ability to ignore issues with it's products and punt their customers to the curb is legendary. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Best of luck to all those who bought the thing. ❤️

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Am I the only one that doens't mind this keyboard?

    Granted, mine hasn't broken (yet), but I've grown to like it. The thing is that it takes massively less force to type on it than most models (Apple flashbacks to "you're holding it wrong") and you have to get used to typing s..o..f..t..l..y. And when you're going through that phase, it's annoyingly loud to type on. Really, horribly loud. But once you do get adjusted and used to it, it's actually very pleasant - solid tactile feedback and I find I can type faster with less effort. The only downside at this point is that other keyboards now feel heavy and with excessively long key travel, but that's just a function of being used to what you're used to.

    That being said, $700 to replace a keyboard is fucking obscene and stupid (even if it's the best keyboard in the world, which apparently it isn't), and somebody at Apple should be kicked in the head for that one.

    FWIW, AppleInsider (which has an editorial slant like the Apple equivalent of the former Soviet Pravda, but often has pretty solid information in actual articles) has been unofficially tracking support issues on Apple products and their numbers saw a sizeable spike in keyboard-related failures on MBPs in 2016 (about double the normal rate), which then dropped down close to "normal" in the first half of 2017 (about 20% higher).

  13. doublelayer Silver badge


    I have noticed this as a result of moving back to my old macbook (the plastic version) owing to apple's bricking of my newer pro. I didn't have these low-travel keys, but I had the version before that. Now that I'm typing more often on a keyboard with more key travel owing to the deeper case, it feels so nice to do so. Of course, the machine is showing its age--the battery lasts about three hours maximum and the core 2 duo doesn't exactly cruise when running VMs, but at least the keyboard will be a nice factor while I prepare to obtain a newer machine.

  14. J27

    I think it's cute they think Apple cares. This is the same company that refuses to fix a Youtuber with over 5 million subscribers iMac Pro, even at his cost. If Apple doesn't care about that level of bad publicity, they definitely don't care about a petition with less than 100,000 signatures.

    The only thing Apple understands is money, unless you stop buying their stuff, they're going to keep treating you like garbage.

    1. kain preacher

      J@7 it's even worse than that. Remember when Nvida had a chip problem ? They offered to cover Apples cost of doing a recall and they said no. Then when apple did do a recall they said it had to be diagnosed with their special software. Well if yo don't have video you can't run the software. Well guess what happens if you can't run the software. Repair declined.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Remember when Nvida had a chip problem

        Yup. I got my MBP motherboard replaced for free - even though it was out of warranty..

  15. Greencat

    Started with the Macbook

    I have the 2015 Macbook and already had the keyboard swapped out once. As AC suggests, once you get used to it - it is an excellent keyboard for touch typists in particular. Sure, it's no Thinkpad (the gold standard in laptop keyboards), but I couldn't go back to Windows or Linux.

    But the Macbook keyboard is extremely vulnerable to the normal day to day detritus that keyboards tend to accumulate. A toast crumb (or two) trapped under a key can render it inoperable. Wiping a cloth over the keyboard from time to time often aggravates the problem by driving dirt etc deeper. Tipping it upside down won't clear anything either due to small tolerances. Apparently you can remove individual keys for cleaning, but the tutorials look rather fiddly.

    Overall, I suspect Apple simply forgot to test this in the real world of someone eating over the top of it, or it otherwise picking up crap from its surroundings. I'm sure I've seen an Apple patent design which looks like some kind of protective seal around the edge of each key. I wouldn't be surprised if that's a response to this problem.

    I see a couple of options for Apple. A one off top case replacement (doesn't solve the problem), creating a tool which makes key removal/cleaning easier and/or replacing with a new style of keyboard.

  16. FlamingDeath Silver badge

    Planned obsolescence

    To which, Apple are the masters of this ethos.

    They're not the most profitable company in the USA by a factor of 2 for no reason

    When you buy these products, what you're essentiall doing is going on a road trip with Apple, and you don't yet know the destination. Whatever business decisions they make, will drag you along with them if you're a willing passenger.

    I'll be getting off at the earliest opportunity, and I only own some of their "smart" phones

  17. Paradroid

    A recall is doubtful

    My MPB is a 2016 model and it's had no keyboard issues (yet). I like the feel of the keyboard. The MacBook keyboard is too extreme but the Pro version is nice.

    However, I really can't see them recalling and fixing this. I had the first retina 15" MacBook Pro, and that had the LG screen that developed bad image retention. That was a widespread issue, a complete disgrace and they had no interest in a recall then either.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A recall is doubtful

      The resale value will drop like a stone though, once Apple releases its replacement.

  18. redpawn

    You are touching it wrong!

    You take our precious MBPs into dusty environments and hammer upon the keys. No wonder they break and it is your fault so no warranty repairs for you. The proper way to type is to take your MBP to a dust free environment and adhere a sponge to each key. Next gently touch them, one at a time. Your well engineered Mac will continue to work perfectly for the entire warranty period.

  19. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Sue or shut up

    If people think there is a problem (I have a MBP from the beginning of 2015 but almost always have it docked and use an external keyboard) then they should redress in the usual way, including going to court if they are not satisfied with the response of the manufacturer.

    Setting something up on is the about the limit of the current, entitled generation's horizon.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The best that will happen...

    The best that will happen is a single, one-time replacement repair for circa £179. It's (stupidly) a very big job to replace the keyboard on the 2016/2017 MacBook Pro w/touchbar.

    Maybe someone at Apple is finally starting to regret this design, as well as integrating the SSD into the curly moustache shaped logic board, that looks designed to last about 1-3 years at most (i.e they cover those with Apple Care).

    The logic board looks designed to fail with internal flexing of components just by picking up / settling down and change in temperatures during operation over time - much like the past problems with the discrete HP Nvidia 8600 graphics laptop motherboards made by Quanta.

    (Winstron make the best motherboards, IMO)

    The 13'' Macbook Pro w/touchbar is (practically) a pretty shit design both internally and externally for Apple compared to the 2009-2013 stuff, though its pretty good aesthetically and when it works. Still dislike the clakerty zero travel keyboard though.

  21. picturethis

    Press release soon..

    "It has recently come to our attention that a certain number of users have been using their MacBook Pros in a manner that is not consistent with Apple's profit design parameters. This incorrect usage is causing a complete and total failure due to a design/manufacturing defect an anomaly with their keyboard. To reiterate, MacBook Pros are designed to be only used in environments that have fewer than 83 particles/cubic meter ( Using them in anything less clean is not covered under warranty"

  22. Donut4000

    I'm typing this on a mid-2012 13" MBP, and really don't see myself upgrading this for a >really< long time. This machine I think is amongst the last of the properly upgradable and repairable Macs. In the 6 years I have had this, I replaced the HD with an Evo 840 1TB, upped the RAM to 16 Corsair Vengance DIMMS, and had recently replaced the trackpad - I dropped a front it : ( - and replaced the keyboard, backlight and clutch cover. The machine as as fast AF, and looks in great nick. Getting these parts was done on the cheap via Ebay (I'm Scottish), so I have really no reason to go for Apple's newer stuff. This disinterest is relatively new to me as I have been using and following Apples offerings since the mid 80's. I see Apple nowadays as more of a commodity shifter, rather than a computer company. One does not exclude the other, but the focus has changed from what I knew. I miss the new announcements: older tech was replaced with weird new cool stuff to everyones benefit (floppy disks out: USB in was a particular point for me). These days I think are gone as we don't have someone a bit mental at the helm (Jobs obviously), so I think Apple are chuntering on safely, but on the back of past achievements, and past philosophies to a lesser degree. I understand most folk don't take their computers apart to repair and upgrade, so I see why Apple chooses the route they are on to pay their rent, as it were - but I do miss Apple Computers, and have a bit less fondness for Apple Inc.

    1. tokyo-octopus

      Got a 2011 MBP which is doing pretty well after 7 years of not particularly considerate use (as a mobile UNIX-based laptop), it would suck as a main computer but is still just about OK for part-time mobile use. Only major issue is the track pad, which only registers very firm clicks (workaround: use a mouse), and the battery is of course not what it once was. Dithering about a replacement, recent MacBook generations no longer appeal and I'm basically putting off the day when I bite the bullet and install Linux on something non-Apple. Though having read your post I might have a crack at repairing it, a new trackpad (or it might just be gunked up), memory upgrade and an SSD would probably keep it going for a couple more years.

      1. RPF

        @tokyo-octopus Am in exactly the same boat (and trackpad the same). SSD and memory do help. New laptops looks like chintzy crap, frankly; most disappointing.

      2. Donut4000

        I would highly recommend the repair route: it is highly cost effective to keep something you originally spent a lot of money on, going and lets face it - even older tech is still powerful enough to web browse and do a lot of office and photoshop level stuff. One thing Apple is great for is the second hand parts market: the machine I have is really just a long list of separates: I could build a complete new Mac from old parts scavenged online, so if something breaks on your own machine - just swap it out. In addition - the satisfaction of maintaining your own gear is a really underestimated, and satisfying bonus : )

  23. DenTheMan

    Customer is Mr Wong.

    As we know, the customer is always wrong.

    So they plonkers must be plonking the keys wrong.

  24. N2


    Have done some really shit things on Cooks watch,

    He needs to go & perhaps things might improve.

  25. Chozo

    Watching in amusement

    <upends keyboard and shakes popcorn out>

  26. Howard Hanek


    ....I was seriously thinking about replacing my two older MacBooks.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have an effective and elegant solution.

    Fire Tim Cook.

    Such basic boo-boos would have never happened under Steve Jobs.

    Apple has stagnated under Dull Tim. Get him out.

    1. Korev Silver badge

      Re: I have an effective and elegant solution.

      Such basic boo-boos would have never happened under Steve Jobs

      Do you remember the "antennagate"? Steve Jobs himself emailed a user to say that he was holding it incorrectly rather than there being a poor design...

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still buying the 2015 MacBook Pro

    I'm still purchasing the 2015 15" i7 with the normal keys (it's still available to buy... for now) when I need to purchase Macs for my company.

    I've trialled the new MacBooks and by God they're terrible in a corporate environment. USB-C is just not ready for prime time IMO, we've got hundreds of Dell USB-C docks on desks but the MacBooks will not work with them. Not to mention the Single USB-C port MBP... what a piece of trash.

    It should be renamed SB-C because it's definitely not Universal.

    *Mac user since '97.

  29. jillesvangurp

    So far so good

    I replaced my 2012 MBP late last year with Apple's latest and greatest. So far, it works. But even so, the key board is a downgrade. First of all it lacks a bunch of keys that I actually use to make room for a touchbar for which I have yet to find a non gimmicky use case. The keys feel loud and flimsy. And I absolutely hate the small vertical arrow keys. On top of that the specs are a disappointment given that I replaced a five year old, 16 GB, 256 GB, quad core mac book pro with something that is slightly faster (about 30% that I can account for in e.g. build speeds) but has the same specs. I got the extended warranty, so if it breaks, Apple will replace the keyboard and everything attached to it.

    1. RPF

      Re: So far so good

      Not exactly filling me desire to modernise mine.....

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Every time I think my current Mac will be my last

    Microsoft goes and royally fucks something up. It’s laughable. I run two systems: a (2015) MacBook Pro, and a Thinkpad. Love the Thinkpad*, but Windows 10 isn't quite there. Love the Mac, but subsequent models are doing nothing for me. Would love to go to Linux, but depend too much on MS Office for work.

    * Only a Carbon, keyboard wise, but I can touch type like Stevie Wonder plays the piano (I also find the Surface keyboard surprisingly good in that respect).

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you do 'real' work..

    Then the only option is a Panasonic Toughbook, I have this one - a Mk1 Centrino Duo still with original keyboard & matte screen, perfect for bank holiday patio browsing - and a later Mk3 Core i5, not only are they quire literally (in the case of the Mk1) 'bombproof' but you get extra points for power walking into a meeting and slamming it down on the desk using the handle, causing the iThing generation to nearly drop their cosseted shinies in disbelief that it still works and bits didn't fall off...

  32. whatsyourShtoile

    Which programmer are you

    Windows and Macs are for programmers who only know one IDE, who never fill in the commit messages.

    That's why Apple has gone for a terrible keyboard and a big touchpad for those long copy and pasting sessions.

    Linux is for the programmers who think about the code in their heads before they write it.

    If you filled an IBM mechanical keyboard with sand it would work just like a mac book pro keyboard but don't worry because Apple is working on a keyboard for their next machine that will feel even worse than that!

  33. kurios

    It's a pain for individuals, but this is an instance when (in the U.S.) small claims court is useful. If Apple had to respond individually to 100K small claims actions, it might make them a bit more careful in design decisions.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's a goodbye for sure...

    After a 'mere' 12 tyears of loyalty, I can safely say I've spent my last penny on a brand new Apple product..

    Gone is 'technologically modular'

    Gone is 'user-servicable'

    Gone is 'data integrity' (ever had to have your iPhone fixed? Is your data still in sync??)

    Gone is 'user upgradeable'

    Gone is 'user diagnosable'

    It WASN'T this way - for those who think Apple fans have ALWAYS been blind, the arguments above clearly show why not. There WAS a time when your Apple asset was worth it's weight in gold because you could acces, upgrade/fix, improve the capabilties of your purchase with a little time and effort.

    That 'era' idd exist, and during it, there WAS no real competition when you roll the OS and the hardware combo into one.

    Hands up - that era is gone..

    For computing needs I point everyone to 2015 i7 15" MacBook Pros or earlier..

    For phone needs, Nokia S60 Symbian (ala Nokia E55 etc)

    It's been great, but it ain't great no more... R.I.P Steve Jobs

  35. Wolfclaw

    Apple iSlaves complaing about their ithings, this is blasphemous and the hertics must be sought out and burned, at the alter below the feet of the Siant Jobs effigy !

  36. xyz123 Silver badge

    An apple a day doesn't keep the legal woes away.

    Apple is a lot closer to being out of loose cash than most people realize.

    They've had to pay out BILLIONS to shareholders who want to re-invest cash instead of it sitting in Apples accounts doing nothing.

    Large numbers of remaining shareholders forced apple to not take "risks" with the cash it does still hold onto. It essentially has to ask shareholders for each R&D development it wants to pursue.

    They're paying 13 billion to the EU for tax avoidance along with 5-10 billion in penalties.

    China has said their subsidiaries "failed to pay legally due tax" and has said Apple is liable if Foxconn etc don't pay up.

    India is pursuing lawsuits for tax avoidance for apple product sales but the amount is unknown.

    China (again) saying they'll take Apples IP off them if they don't pay what they owe.

    Internal struggles with Tim Cook fending off attempts to topple him from his position as people feel he's not a visionary, just a beancounter squeezing customers for every cent.

    Apple deciding to END support completely for the iPhone X in October (no software or security updates at all - you're on your own) and now a plan to see just how much they can wring out of macbook users by lowering the quality of the product specifications to something from 2014-2015 and the build quality even lower whilst RAISING prices!.

  37. friedduck

    I loved my MacBook Air, and the OS is still better than Win10, but there is NO way I'd buy another MB after this experience. The keyboard is terrible, even without the reliability issues. I buy equipment for a small company and other vendors have caught up. I can buy light, fast, reliable machines for half the cost of Apple.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well my second hand £48 t410 is still going strong. Ok it had a few bits missing, no hard drive and no os, but after installing an ssd and missing plastic bits its a good deal more useful than any apple crap with its ports removed and a no replaceable keyboard. So good I'll buy another when one comes up on ebay that needs fixing. With linux mint installed its reliable as well, which as I'm running pa mixing and lighting off it is a good thing !

  39. gcarter

    One of the "downsides" about articles like this on the interwebz, is they only show one side to the user experience...

    Granted, people take to the web when things go wrong, but how many people take to the web when they are happy with a product?!

    I've used both the previous design MacBooks and the new butterfly keyboard.

    Granted it takes some getting used to and granted there seems to be cases of failures rearing their head now that the new mechanism is in a lot more peoples hands nowadays...

    With articles like this, they seem to bring out the haters, and #metoo crowd!

    I for one am one of those "happy / no problemo" users.. my MacBook 12 (2017 model) is my daily driver and use it out and about, for work and leisure purposes and no problems :-)

    I digress...

    The argument of how apple are dealing with any hardware failures aside... my reason for replying is again, how many people are out there, who do have and like the new mechanism and have had no faults / failures?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Damage Control.

  40. Mister Bristol

    What is to blame?

    The Apple store blamed our dog when we went to our appointment. They detected dog hair under the keys; perhaps they looked at the pictures and made that assumption.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How will Apple solve this?

    How will Apple solve this?

    By removing the screws from the base and sealing the next MacBook up with even more glue, to say "Fcuk you, we're Apple".

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