03 July 2019
Apple MacBooks are considered as the industry leader but in the past four years, they have also known to be featuring one of the most unreliable keyboard designs. It is the butterfly keyboard design that debuted in 2015 and has undergone four iterations so far but with no convincing fixes yet. But as per a new report, it seems like Cupertino-based tech giant is all set to bid farewell to the faulty design and replace it with something new.
The report is based on research notes shared by renowned research analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. He claims that Apple will be opting for the new scissor switch keyboard design going forward. The new design is said to make its debut with the 2019 MacBook Air but if for MacBook Pro lovers, the wait will extend until 2020.
The scissor-switch design will be using glass fiber to reinforce the keys. It is said to offer better durability and longer key travel than the one offered by currently used butterfly keyboards. This new keyboard design is said to be thicker but nothing that users will be able to feel or differentiate. It will also be relatively cheaper to manufacture but still expensive than the average keyboard design.
One of the research notes mentions:
"We believe the partially refreshed MacBook Pro models will also adopt a new scissor keyboard in 2020; shipments of MacBook models equipped with a new scissor keyboard will grow 500–700% YoY in 2020. Though the butterfly keyboard is still thinner than the new scissor keyboard, we think most users can't tell the difference. Furthermore, the new scissor keyboard could offer better user experience and benefit Apple's profits; therefore, we predict that the butterfly keyboard may finally disappear in the long term."
The idea of ditching butterfly keyboards completely is not surprising at all. These keyboards have been found to be unreliable, especially when any dust particle goes through them. The keys have been reported to behave strangely and even completely stop at times. Apple has acknowledged such keyboard issues on different occasions and has also started free replacement programs for faulty ones.
Most recently, Apple updated high-end MacBook Pro models with the fourth-generation butterfly keyboards. It seems like those might be one of the last MacBook models to ship with the design.