Apple Offers Free MacBook Repairs For Keyboard Flaw

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Butterfly mechanism for nearly all modern MacBooks contains design flaw, as Apple redesigns keyboards for new models

Apple has redesigned its MacBook keyboards after the firm admitted that previous models contained a design flaw.

The problem is so widespread that Apple has pledged free repairs for most modern MacBooks that utilise the butterfly mechanism beneath the keyboard.

It has been a busy week for the iPad maker. Earlier this week Apple promised to be “clearer and more upfront with iPhone users about battery health and performance,” after a UK watchdog investigated its iOS updates that deliberately slowed down older iPhones.

Free repairs

Apple admitted there was a problem in an update to its keyboard repair program, which lists all affected models.

Essentially all MacBooks with the so-called butterfly mechanism beneath the keys (nearly all modern MacBooks) will now be fully eligible for Apple’s Keyboard Service Program.

“Apple has determined that a small percentage of the keyboards in certain MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro models may exhibit one or more of the following behaviours,” stated Apple.

It said that letters or characters could repeat unexpectedly; letters or characters do not appear; and key(s) could feel “sticky” or do not respond in a consistent manner.

“Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider will service eligible MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro keyboards, free of charge,” said Apple. “The type of service will be determined after the keyboard is examined and may involve the replacement of one or more keys or the whole keyboard.”

Apple has updated the design of the butterfly mechanism beneath the keys in newer models. Traditional keyboards tend to use a scissor mechanism when users press keys down, but Apple is now using new materials in the mechanism to make the keyboards more reliable.

Apple’s statement means that older Macbooks no longer covered by Apple’s repair programme should now be repaired, as long as owners get the device looked at within four years of the retail sale.

Other issues

Apple has had a few issues recently with its devices that has caused it to announce a free repair program.

For example last November Apple said it would fix its iPhone X and some Macbook models after product quality control problems were uncovered.

The iPhone X was said to suffer from problems associated with its touch screen.

The Macbook was affected by problems with its solid-state drives (SSDs).

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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