Apple may finally resolve MacBook butterfly keyboard issues by abandoning the design altogether

MacBook Pro keyboard
Image Credit: TechRadar
(Image credit: Future)

The MacBook butterfly keyboard issues feel like part of a never ending story, even after multiple attempts to improve the MacBook keyboards. Now, it appears the company may be close to putting the problems behind it entirely, as a report from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo obtained by MacRumors suggests the company will use a new keyboard design in 2020.

The new keyboard design will use a more traditional scissor switch mechanism, according to Kuo. He says, "there have been successful developments in the new scissor keyboard. The new keyboard could improve the typing experience by offering longer key travel and durability by adopting glass fiber to reinforce the keys' structure."

The longer key travel would likely means a higher-profile design than the existing butterfly keyboards, but Kuo believes "most users can't tell the difference." Kuo expects the newly designed keyboards to appear in MacBook Pro models in 2020, which means any new MacBooks in the works that come out before then could still be stuck with the butterfly keyboard.

Butterfly history becoming history

Apple's butterfly keyboard key switches have been plagued with problems since their introduction in 2016, more or less forcing Apple to apologize for the issue and even go so far as to offer a worldwide repair program. Over multiple generations of MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro laptops, the keyboards have been an issue. Even as the company has revised the design, problems have persisted.

The result for some MacBook owners has been unreliable typing experiences, as some keys would stop working while others could repeat keystrokes. That's not the kind of experience anyone would want to get from an expensive laptop.

For both Apple's and consumers' sake, a switch to a new keyboard design on MacBook models could be a very good thing.