Apple Finally Apologizes for Defective MacBook Keyboard Problems
After more than three years of considerable consumer prodding—ranging from lawsuits to 35k-plus person petitions—Apple finally admitted and even apologized for the fact that there are still problems with its thrice updated “butterfly” keyboard.
“We are aware that a small number of users are having issues with their third-generation butterfly keyboard and for that we are sorry,” an Apple spokesperson told Wall Street Journal Wednesday.
The statement, which Business Insider notes contained Apple’s first apology, was included in a pointed WSJ piece that omitted Es and Rs and doubled Ts to highlight reporter Joanna Stern’s ongoing issues with the MacBook Air she bought in October 2018.
In spite of its apology, Apple stressed that “the vast majority of Mac notebook customers are having a positive experience with the new keyboard” without specifying how many consumers aren’t. (Although the spokesperson did encourage them to contact Apple customer support with any problems.)
A proposed class-action lawsuit filed in May 2018 claims that Apple knew that its butterfly keyboards were defective since 2015, and yet the company continued to sell them without disclosing a problem.
Although an Apple spokesperson told Fortune the next month that it “launched a keyboard service program for our customers that covers a small percentage of keyboards” that experienced were unresponsive or “sticky”—acknowledging a “small” problem, but not providing an apology—the latest models eligible for repair were released in 2017.
In 2018, Apple added a silicone membrane to its third-generation butterfly keyboard that was added, according to a leaked document acquired by the Verge, to prevent debris from entering the device and interfering with the functionality.
In spite of the changes, the 2018 models are still the subjects of keyboard malfunctions.
Apple didn’t respond to Fortune’s request for comment Wednesday regarding whether or not they’d be eligible for the repair program. Granted, as the WSJ notes, 2018 models are still covered by Apple’s one-year warranty.