Apple has very quietly announced a Keyboard Service program for MacBook and Pro laptops built since 2015. The issue – MacBook and Pro keys randomly stop working.
Noted and highly reputable teardown site iFixit first raised the issue in early June. According to it, there had been a tsunami of failures going on for a very long time.
In true Apple style, an advisory notice quietly went up on the web. But it was still up to the owner to take it into Apple for inspection. And be without it for several days for repair. To add insult to injury, the same type of keyboard that had originally failed was the replacement.
Well, Apple has now admitted it is a fault with ‘some keyboards’. It has extended the warranty on the affected units for four years after the first retail sale of the unit. This will only delay a full recall.
The problem according to iFixit is a design fault with all the Butterfly 1.0 2.0 keyboards. Customers should not accept a replacement that is equally liable to fail again. It states, “These keyboards, described by Jony Ive as thin, precise, and ‘sturdy,’ have been magnificently prone to failure.”
MacBook and Pro Models Affected
Macbook 12″ Retina
MacBook Pro 13″
2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports
2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports
2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports
2017, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports
MacBook Pro 15″
It’s not an easy or cheap fix either
The ultra-slim modular design may havd been at the expense of keyboard reliability. Replacement entails the entire upper case including the glued-in battery, trackpad, and speakers at the same time. No, you cannot replace individual keys either. iFixit rate these MacBooks as a 1-out-of-10 in repairability.
Failure can come from a single dust mote as shown in the iFixit blog here
This could be extremely costly to Apple
Millions of MacBooks and Pro, every one made since 2015 are at risk.