Apple Will Replace Faulty MacBook Keyboards Free of Charge

Yolanda Curtis
June 23, 2018

U.S. tech giant Apple has acknowledged that a small percentage of keyboards in certain MacBook and MacBook Pro models may exhibit malfunctions, such as letters or characters repeating unexpectedly, not appearing, or experiencing "sticky" keys that do not respond in a consistent manner.

In a post made on its Support section today, Apple admitted issues with its MacBook and MacBook Pro keyboards that users have reported for years.

The program will fix any 2015 (or newer) MacBook (Retina, 12-inch), and any 2016 or newer MacBook Pro (13-inch or 15-inch). The company has extended the warranty for keyboards for nine affected models released starting in 2015 to four years from the usual one year.

Worse, the butterfly keyboard design is endemic unreliable.

My MacBook Pro's keyboard hasn't failed, but I know several people whose keyboard has, and I've had a few occasions where keys would become sticky for a short period. Apple has acknowledged that a "small percentage of keyboards in certain MacBook and MacBook Pro models" may have the sticky keyboard problem that users have been complaining about. I was able to get it fixed for free because I had purchased AppleCare; the repairs could have otherwise cost me more than $700, based on the receipts given to me by Apple with the fix.

Apple had created the new butterfly keyboard switch mechanism that was claimed to be 40 percent thinner than the scissor switches used in most keyboards, apart from being more stable. Jason Snell, editor of Six Colors and former editor-in-chief of Macworld magazine, wrote in April 2018, "Apple's relative silence on this issue for existing customers is deafening". But in the meantime, consumers can at least get keyboards that are having problems repaired at no cost-other than some of their time, of course. Affected users may contact an Apple Authorized Service Provider, make an appointment at an Apple Retail Store, or mail in their device for service.

Apple said the problems involved only a "small percentage" of laptop keyboards. If a laptop has other damage that has to be fixed before the keyboard can be replaced, Apple said in its service program page that a charge may apply.

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