After acknowledging issues with its 2018 butterfly keyboards earlier this year, Apple has today expanded its Keyboard Service Program to cover the 2018 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air notebooks. The company is also using a new material in a revised third-gen butterfly keyboard that it claims should resolve issues like missed key presses and double key-presses. Additionally, Apple has started another Service Program for MacBook Pros with backlight display failures.
The Wall Street Journal reported on the changes today:
Apple on Tuesday said it was changing a material used in its butterfly keyboards and expanding its keyboard-repair program. The program previously covered first- and second-generation keyboards, but now includes coverage of the third-generation keyboards introduced last year on MacBook Air and high-end MacBook Pro models.
The new keyboards and expanded repair program come as Apple today announced the first 8-core MacBook Pro that sports the updated butterfly keyboard. As noted by The WSJ, Apple didn’t detail exactly what it had modified on the keyboard except it using a new material:
Changing a material. The company said it has made a change to a material in the keyboard mechanism. Apple didn’t say what specifically changed but said it would help with the double key-press issue. The newly announced MacBook Pros—shipping Tuesday—will have this new material.
Improving repairs. All Mac laptops with butterfly keyboards are now eligible for Apple’s program and are covered for up to four years after the original purchase. Apple said it is also shortening the repair time, which previously could take a week.
We heard last month that Apple was improving its turn-around time for keyboard repairs to just one day for many customers. It’s good to hear an official statement from Apple on the improvement. Notably, even the new 13- and 15-inch 2019 MacBook Pro models are eligible for the Keyboard Service Program, hinting that the new material used in the revised keyboards may not offer a true fix. The program offers repair and replacement of faulty keyboards for four years after purchase.
More details from TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino include that first- and second-gen butterfly keyboards in for repair won’t get the new material, just the third-gen butterfly keyboards.
Third, it is improving repair times at stores and replacing 3rd gen membrane keyboards with the new keyboards. pic.twitter.com/0khzQ0rHVP
— Matthew Panzarino (@panzer) May 21, 2019
Apple has updated its official Keyboard Service Program support page with the 2018 and 2019 MacBooks. If you’ve been having issues with your 2018 MacBook Pro or MacBook Air keyboard or any MacBook notebook with a butterfly keyboard, get in touch with Apple Support to get the repair process started. Keep in mind you’ll likely be without your machine for a least a day, if not longer.
Apple has also today added a new service program to address the failure of display backlighting in 13-inch MacBook Pro models from 2016. iFixit previously described the ribbon cables as fragile and prone to failing from the repeated opening and closing of the display.