back to article Official: Apple debugs MacBook Air of sucky Butterfly keyboard

As predicted, Apple is steadily purging its laptop line of the fault-prone butterfly keyboard, which infuriated punters and genius bar techies alike. The latest device to get an upgrade to the revived scissor-switch mechanism is the MacBook Air, which today received a fairly substantial upgrade. Beyond the keyboard, Apple has …

  1. Waseem Alkurdi

    Recently refreshed with Intel CPUs

    How would that affect their (supposed, expected) ARM offer next year ... if that offer is also supposed to be a MacBook-Air-class machine?

  2. ashdav


    If you're unlucky enough to own one of the devices affected by the original (flawed) design will you get a free upgrade to a keyboard that works?

    Ha Ha Ha.

    Forgive me.

    What was I thinking.

    1. JDPower Bronze badge

      Re: Upgrade?

      If someone buys a flawed product, AND keeps it instead of returning it, it's hardly the fault of Apple.

      (Disclaimer - NOT an Apple fanboy)

      1. jm90914

        Re: Upgrade?

        Yes, it is all Apple's fault.

        They green-lit an appalling piece of industrial design, and persisted with that design for 4 years, while repeatedly telling people that only a "small fraction" of laptops had a problem (a bald-faced lie). They knew very well that their warranty repair staff were swamped with keyboard repairs, and it is a problem that absolutely *will* manifest itself if you dare to type on your laptop keyboard for any length of time.

        Meanwhile, they do repair after repair after repair, replacing like for like and assuring people that the problem is fixed (when they've replaced your keyboard with the exact same part, which will absolutely display the same problems - in my experience well within the first 12 months).

        I've had 3 different MacBook Pros through work over the last 4 years, and each and every one had this problem multiple times. I'm currently typing on a £3000 laptop which is a year old, and will be having its second keyboard repair soon.

        All along Apple has persisted in the lie that this only happens to a "small percentage" of laptops, and they persist in that lie to this day.

        I *have* to use a Mac for work, and I *have* to be mobile for work, so the companies I work for have no choice but to stump up again and again for a flawed £3000 laptop.

        So, I supposed you could say it's our fault for having to use software that is made by Apple for Mac alone, and I supposed you could say that it's also our fault for having offices all over the place and regular travel so that a laptop is necessary.

        But, that would clearly be a ridiculous position...

  3. jake Silver badge

    "although this will inevitably come with a wallet-punishing price tag."

    As if we needed to be told that about Apple gear.

    Apple gross profit for the twelve months ending December 31, 2019 was $101.578 billion on $267.683 billion in revenue. That's one hell of a profit margin for the world's favorite haberdashery.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: "That's one hell of a profit margin"

      for the Cupertino reseller of Chinese made 'tat'.

      {rewritten into Register speak}

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "That's one hell of a profit margin"

        To be fair that's not far from the truth.

        Hardware wise they are a foxconn reseller.

        Sofware wise they've put a nice skin on UNIX.

        No disrespect meant. Dell and HP do a similar thing on the hardware side. Microsoft has stolen (or bought) shamelessly from others on the software side.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You can bet the new scissor mechanism keyboard is non replaceable, like the old butterfly one.

    Obviously we've not seen the teardown yet, but this is Apple.

    The new keyboard won't just sit within an aluminium top cover easily replaceable like a typical Lenovo design (a five minute replacement), you can bet the macbook Air will have to be stripped completely down and rivets drilled out to replace it, the part that's left when everything else has been removed i.e. it's basically non-replaceable, embedded deep within the device. Just like their soldered SSD flash to the motherboard and their solder-in ram, with non-genuine parts likely flagged/locked out by the Apple T2 Security chip.

    Apple haven't made a decent device since 2012 in the repairability stakes. Software wise, the latest macOS 10.15 has required a litany of patches, patch after patch since release.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple haven't made a decent device since 2012

      Indeed. My 2012 15in MBP is what is being used to type this. It is a good job that I can touch type as the lettering on half the keys has worn off. It gets a log of use day in, day out and hasn't missed a beat.

      For example, I have been pounding away these past few days writing my new Novel (any pubs out there, get in touch as I ain't paying Amazon 70% of revenue). 57,000 words this month alone.

      As for MacOS 10.15... Not had any issues with it at all. I do use it for Photo Editing as well as wordsmithing.

      1. stevebp

        Re: Apple haven't made a decent device since 2012

        "It gets a log of use day in, day out and hasn't missed a beat" - I'm loving the irony of this typo, but maybe that's because I'm missing human contact...

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Apple haven't made a decent device since 2012

          It might not be a typo. One of the benefits of Apple's version of the OS is BSD's extensive logging capability for those who need/want it.

  5. Mike Lewis

    Who knew...

    a butterfly could cause so much trouble.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Who knew...

      It's called the Butterfly Effect...

      1. AndrueC Silver badge

        Re: Who knew...

        I wonder how much the new scissor-switch keys cost. Perhaps they are a snip.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Who knew...

          Shear brilliance.

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