After a number of user complaints about Apple’s faulty butterfly keyboard built into some of the recent MacBooks, the company has finally decided to take some action.
Apple late last week announced that it would an extended keyboard service program for select MacBook and MacBook Pro models with faulty butterfly switches. Several people have complained that the butterfly keyboard allows for dust to seep in easily and the design makes it difficult to repair.
Apple’s new extended warranty will cover the replacement of the one or more keys or the entire keyboard free of cost. Apple acknowledges that a small percentage of keyboards show issues like letters or characters repeating unexpectedly, unregistered keys and sticky keys that do not respond in a consistent manner. If users face any of these issues, Apple or an Apple Authorised Service Provider will service the affected laptops (up to four years since the date of purchase) after it deems it eligible for the program. Notably, Apple’s service page includes every MacBook and MacBook Pro model with the butterfly switches and you can check the models out here. Additionally, Apple is also offering a refund for users who have already paid to have their keyboards repaired.
The butterfly keyboard is designed as a low-profile switch that Apple claims is more responsive and robust than the traditional scissor-type keyboard. However, there have been a number of complaints over the past months from users claiming that the design of the keyboard is such that even small amounts of dust or debris that creep under the keyboard can render the keys non-responsive. Additionally, the design also doesn’t allow you to remove individual keys, so if the keyboard does malfunction it will require elaborate and expensive remedies. Extreme cases have required users to take their laptops for service at a Genius Bar or authorised Apple repair facility, which can be a pricey affair.
Last month, some MacBook users filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple for knowingly selling MacBooks with faulty keyboards. The lawsuit claimed that Apple was aware of the issues with the butterfly keyboards before they reached the public back in 2015 and accuse the company for failing to notify consumers. They also accuse Apple of suggesting “self-help remedies” like using compressed air, a technique that consumers have found does not always work.
Apple’s acknowledgement of the issue has taken a while and the company is yet to answer to the claims on whether it was always aware of the issue. For now, Apple’s extended keyboard service program should help affected users repair their keyboards without having to pay large sums of money. The underlying issue regarding the design of the keyboard, however, is yet to be addressed.
News credit : Indiatoday