Something to look forward to: While many Apple fans are waiting for the company to unveil the illusive 16-inch Macbook Pro with a new design later this year, the thought of it being more expensive while including the same potentially defective keyboard might give them pause. However the company is said to be testing a new keyboard switch mechanism for its upcoming MacBook Air and next year’s MacBook Pro, just months after admitting that its current design has proven unreliable.
Every year or so, the Cupertino giant likes to announce shiny new MacBooks with all the usual incremental upgrades in computing power, and the promise that they may cost more than a kidney. This year’s refresh is no different, but there is one thing that Apple users have been dying for – a better keyboard.
The company so far has insisted on just patching the problem, but a new report from renowned Apple watcher Ming-Chi Kuo obtained by MacRumors says the company is looking for a more definitive solution to its headaches: to replace the entire mechanical design of the keys in order to improve their feel and reliability.
Even if you haven’t been following all things Apple, you may have heard about the butterfly mechanism that’s been the cause of frustration among many buyers of every model starting with the 12-inch MacBook from 2015 and up to the latest models that inherited more or less the same mechanism. After a few years of displeased reviewers and professionals that felt they paid too much to be beta testers, as well as a class action lawsuit, Apple finally caved in and apologized for the issue, while also quietly launching a repair program for the affected models.
Kuo says the company will use scissor switches for the keyboards in its upcoming MacBooks with increased key travel when compared with the current design and a better tactile feedback. He further added that Apple is testing a prototype reinforced with glass fiber for better durability, but made no mention of it being integrated in the 16-inch MacBook Pro that he previously predicted for a reveal later this year. The new design is, however, less expensive for Apple to make than the butterfly one, so take that as you may.
It’s worth noting that while this might reduce the number of failures, Kuo goes as far as to speculate a surge of up to 700% in the sale of MacBooks that include a new keyboard design.
With Jony Ive gone, Apple might begin undoing some of his form over function decisions, that have led to beautiful products that are not upgradeable, have logic board issues, and can even stop working from as much as opening and closing the lid.