- Apple just announced a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with its Magic Keyboard, suggesting it may be moving away from its butterfly keyboard entirely.
- Until now, the 13-inch MacBook Pro was the only laptop in Apple’s lineup that lacked the Magic Keyboard.
- Apple brought the Magic Keyboard to its MacBook Air in March and the 16-inch MacBook Pro in November.
- The move toward the Magic Keyboard comes after customers have complained about issues with the butterfly keyboard for years since its 2015 debut.
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Complaints about Apple’s butterfly keyboard have existed ever since it debuted back in 2015, and now it appears that the company could finally be phasing it out entirely.
Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook Pro is the latest Mac laptop to come with its Magic Keyboard instead of the butterfly keyboard, along with the new MacBook Air and 16-inch MacBook Pro.
Apple hasn’t said whether it’s officially abandoned the butterfly keyboard. But until now, the 13-inch MacBook Pro was the only laptop in Apple’s lineup that lacked the new Magic Keyboard. Its launch could signal that Apple, after years of complaints from customers, is moving away from the flatter, thinner keyboard it introduced in 2015.
In its press release announcing the new MacBook Pro, Tom Boger, Apple’s senior director of Mac and iPad product marketing, also highlighted that the Magic Keyboard is now available across Apple’s entire laptop lineup. He called it “the best typing experience ever on a Mac notebook.”
The move away from the butterfly keyboard comes after numerous consumers and reviewers had reported issues with it for years. Apple offers a Keyboard Service Program to service eligible Mac laptop owners experiencing issues with their butterfly keyboards free of charge. It has also developed new versions of the butterfly keyboard in recent years designed to better keep out debris to mitigate such issues. Now, however, the company seems to be moving away from the butterfly keyboard entirely and focusing much of its efforts on the Magic Keyboard.
Apple debuted the butterfly keyboard in its 12-inch MacBook laptop from roughly five years ago, and complaints had surfaced ever since. Some issues appeared on Apple forums and Reddit threads throughout 2015 and 2016, but the complaints gained more traction around 2017. Some users had reported that certain keys would simply stop working, while others would say that keys would register twice when only tapped once.
By May 2018, a petition had appeared on Change.org with more than 40,000 signatures urging Apple to recall MacBook Pros with defective butterfly keyboards. Apple was also hit with a class-action lawsuit over the problematic keyboard around the same time.
Apple’s Phil Schiller, the company’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, said the company has received mixed feedback on the butterfly keyboard when speaking with CNET last year. “It felt more firm and flat under your finger — some people really like that, but other people weren’t really happy with that,” Schiller said to CNET referring to the butterfly keyboard. “We got sort of a mixed reaction. We had some quality issues we had to work on.”
Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro, which launched last November, was the first laptop to get the new Magic Keyboard. Schiller suggested when speaking with CNET that the Magic Keyboard had initially been developed mainly with “pro” customers.
But the Magic Keyboard has since made its way to Apple computers targeting different customers at various price ranges, from the MacBook Air to even the iPad Pro and now finally the 13-inch MacBook Pro, suggesting that maybe the butterfly keyboard could be gone for good.
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