Apple’s next iteration of MacBooks may do away with one of the company’s most loathed pieces of hardware to date, according to one prominent analyst.
In a recent forecast, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the company will likely scrap the MacBook’s Butterfly keyboard in favor of a new, more traditional, scissor-switch design following widespread complaints over the hardware’s durability.
‘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,’ wrote Kuo in a recent analysis as reported MacRumors.
Among other things, the Butterfly keyboard — named for the component underneath keys that resembles a butterfly — has been derided by consumers and reviewers for breaking easily due in part to dust and other particles that find their way under the board’s surface.
In addition to breaking outright, some keyboards were found to overheat and experience issues with keys sticking or repeating characters.
Apple attempted to fix its issues with dust and particles entering its computers — some of which retail close to $3,000 — by adding a thin silicone layer under each key in 2018, but issues have persisted for customers.
As a result of the problems Apple expanded its keyboard service program in May to include more than a dozen models of MacBook computers made between 2015 and 2019.
While Apple’s scissor-switch designed keyboards will be cheaper than the faulty Butterfly, it will still be more expensive than most of the company’s competitors.
The turn to a scissor design will also make the laptops slightly larger, according to Kuo’s analysis, though for many Apple users the analyst says this may not make a huge difference.
‘Though the butterfly keyboard is still thinner than the new scissor keyboard, we think most users can’t tell the difference.
According to Kuo, the new keyboard — which is foretasted to be made by Taiwanese manufacturer Sunrex — won’t be immediately introduced to into all MacBook models, but will begin with the next MacBook Air later this year.
A new MacBook Pro that is suspected to be unveiled this Fall may continue using the problematic Butterfly keyboard. Kuo says that Apple’s line of Pro’s may start incorporating a new keyboard by 2020.