It was rather silent around the MacBook Pro/Air keyboards in the past few weeks and months – ever since Apple presented the newest 16” model. But the Oscars on Sunday night became another negative highlight in their history. Here’s the clip that has been going around for the past few hours:
Taika Waititi jokes about what writers should be asking for in the next round of talks with producers: “Apple needs to fix those keyboards. They are impossible to write on. They’ve gotten worse. It makes me want to go back to PCs” #Oscars pic.twitter.com/vlFTSjCfZm
— Variety (@Variety) February 10, 2020
Yes, Apple has fixed the keyboard, but so far only on the 16” MacBook Pro*. Yes, it’s noticeably better than before and one can only hope there won’t be any other major issues on these machines that require a yearly replacement. But, and this is a big but, all other MacBooks to this day still come with the problematic butterfly keyboards.
I still can’t understand how long it took – or rather, it’s still taking – for Apple to fix these problems and come out with a new keyboard. They went from a version that worked as everyone expected, to a complete nightmare starting with the 12” MacBook in 2015.
I also wonder how many people just can’t afford to let go of their possibly only computer for a few days just to get a new keyboard, no matter how complicated it is to live with a keyboard that’s repeating keys or entire keys that don’t work at all. This problem does and will haunt many MacBook owners for years. Multiple generations of MacBooks will go unserviced and once the 4 years of free replacements have passed, people won’t be willing to pay the enormous bill that comes with a new keyboard.
The first MacBooks are already past this timeframe and, coming up at the end of this year, the first MacBook Pro with Touch Bar will be on that list as well. I’m also afraid the resale value for those machines won’t be as good for their current owners as it has been for other Macs in the past. Once a single key is toast it’s hundreds of dollars you have to pay for it out of your own pocket. As John Gruber notes: „Apple could switch every single Mac in the lineup to the new keyboards tomorrow, and people would still be joking about MacBook keyboards for years to come.“