Apple to Fully Phase Out the MacBook’s Faulty Butterfly Keyboard by 2020: Kuo

Apple is on the verge of solving the most annoying problem with its MacBook laptops.

Well-connected Apple supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities has today released a note to investors (via MacRumors) laying out a timeline for Apple’s conversion to more reliable scissor switch keyboards in its MacBooks:

We have revised our prediction that the keyboard of the 16-inch MacBook Pro that will launch in 4Q19 will feature the scissor mechanism instead of the butterfly mechanism. The refresh versions of other MacBook models in 2020 will change to adopt the scissor mechanism keyboard, too. We estimate that shipments of MacBook models that choose scissor mechanism keyboards will reach 400k, 10mn, and 16mnunits, respectively.

The switches are a slightly different design from Apple’s previous scissors. Glass fibers reinforce the new mechanisms for extra strength and have slightly more travel. They are also reportedly cheaper to make. All-in-all the upcoming keyboards should be more comfortable and durable.

Earlier this month Kuo had forecast that it would be this year’s MacBook Air that got the new keyboard with the rest to follow in 2020. It seems that it will be the 2019 16-inch Pro instead.

This new note by Kuo reaffirms reports from earlier this week that a new 16-inch MacBook Pro is coming this fall with a hefty $3,000 USD price. Apple’s new 16-inch MacBook Pro would come with slimmer bezels and arrive in October 2019. That report also alleged that Apple would be releasing new 13-inch versions of its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

Apple’s butterfly keyboard design has been a well-known problem for years now. In its effort to slim down its MacBook models, Apple introduced its butterfly keyboard design in 2015. Following several complaints from users all across the globe, Apple had to kick off its free keyboard replacement program to replace or repair broken keyboards.

The Cupertino-based company had earlier introduced an improved version of its butterfly keyboard design in select MacBook models to improve reliability. However, it seems like the 2019 MacBook Air and Pro models will be stuck with the old keyboard for now.