Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple set to ditch finicky butterfly keyboard

Back to a scissor switch in the 2019 MacBook Air, 2020 for the MacBook Pro, according to this source.

From 9to5Mac:

Apple is apparently set to ditch the butterfly mechanism used in MacBooks since 2015, which has been the root of reliability issues and its low-travel design has also not been popular with many Mac users.

In a report published today, Ming-Chi Kuo says that Apple will roll out a new keyboard design based on scissor switches, offering durability and longer key travel, starting with the 2019 MacBook Air. The MacBook Pro is also getting the new scissor switch keyboard, but not until 2020.

The new scissor switch keyboard is a whole new design than anything previously seen in a MacBook, purportedly featuring glass fiber to reinforce the keys. Apple fans who have bemoaned the butterfly keyboard should be optimistic about a return to scissor switches.

Kuo says that Apple’s butterfly design was expensive to manufacture due to low yields. The new keyboard is still expected to cost more than an average laptop keyboard, but it should be cheaper than the butterfly components.

Apple has introduced four generations of butterfly keyboards in as many years, attempting to address user complaints about stuck keys, repeated key inputs, and even the loud clackiness of typing when striking each keycap.

My take: If Apple is going to reverse the worst of Jony Ive’s anorexic design decisions, may I suggest a return to MagSafe?

Also, can I switch out the butterfly keyboard on my late 2018 MacBook Air, please?


  1. Gregg Thurman said:
    Kuo has been unusually quiet these past several months, then this trifle.

    July 4, 2019
  2. David Drinkwater said:
    Philip, I suspect that “changing out” the keyboard my not be an option, because one of the things that the new design was supposed to accomplish was a reduction in thickness of the keyboard. I think a replacement keyboard would disallow properly closing the laptop.

    July 4, 2019
    • David Emery said:
      so, another consequence of what I see as MacBook anorexia – the pursuit of thinness as an end unto itself. (These compromises are why I bought a second refurb ’15 MBP, rather than a new one.)

      July 5, 2019
  3. Gianfranco Pedron said:
    Crystal ball screaming MacBook « super cycle » In 2019 … and « tough compare » for 2020.

    July 5, 2019

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