Apple Might Start Ditching Its Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Laptop Keyboards Later This Year

Illustration for article titled Apple Might Start Ditching Its Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Laptop Keyboards Later This Year
Photo: iFixit

There hasn’t been an Apple product as universally maligned and hated as the company’s low profile butterfly keyboards since the Newton PDA. Introduced in 2015 to help MacBooks achieve thinner designs, even Gizmodo staffers have had keys on their laptops that broke, or inexplicably just stopped working. As a result, the company expanded its Keyboard Service Program to fix any problems, and even upgraded the keyboard’s materials; but 2019 could actually see Apple finally switch to a better scissor switch design.


According to a recent report by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the company will introduce a new scissor switch style keyboard design later this year, reinforced with glass fibers that will not only improve durability, but will also extend key travel which has been another major complaint with the butterfly style switches. In layman’s terms: pounding away on the new keyboard design should offer a much better tactile experience. Kuo also points out that while the scissor switch design will still be more expensive than what most laptop makers are using, it will be actually cheaper than the butterfly design, so seemingly a win-win solution for Apple.

The bad news is that Ming-Chi Kuo also claims the new keyboard design will only be introduced on a new MacBook Air later this year, and not the 16-inch MacBook Pro that many suspect Apple will announce in the Fall. The MacBook Pro line supposedly won’t see the new scissor switch keyboards included until 2020, eventually replacing the butterfly keyboards altogether.

So if you’ve been holding off on upgrading your MacBook, you might want to hold out even longer now—if you can.


Jerry Callo, Esq., Trump U. School of Law '89

Didn’t they just make some improvements to these? I just got a new MBP after they bumped the specs recently and I’m pretty sure I read here that they had done something to improve the keyboard. Mine’s great so far, though of course it’s far too soon for any problems to show up.