Apple is quietly telling repair shops that the new MacBook Pro fixes the keyboard issue that's driving people crazy

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
  • Apple won’t confirm publicly whether its new MacBook Pro models address a reliability issue that has spurred lawsuits.
  • But according to a service document distributed to repair centres, the keyboard on the most recent models includes a new rubber membrane that prevents dust from getting inside the key.
  • This suggests the new keyboards should be more reliable.

Publicly, Apple says the “third-generation” keyboards on the latest MacBook Pro models merely makes the keyboard quieter.

But many users who have bought previous models of the MacBook Pro have complained that dust or other particles can get trapped under the keyboard’s keys, making typing unreliable.

Despite launching new models last week, Apple has said nothing about whether the new design solves a “sticky” key problem that has spurred class-action lawsuits and an out-of-warranty free repair program.

But internally, it’s telling authorised service providers that yes, the new keyboard prevents dust and debris from entering the keys, suggesting the problem is solved.

MacRumors obtained the passage from the 2018 MacBook Pro Service Readiness Guide:

Keyboard and KeycapsThe keyboard has a membrane under the keycaps to prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism. The procedure for the space bar replacement has also changed from the previous model. Repair documentation and service videos will be available when keycap parts begin shipping.

This confirms an iFixit finding from last week. It took apart one of the new keyboards, and found there’s a rubber membrane inside each key. It looks like this:

2018 MacBook ProiFixit

This is apparently the “membrane” that is cited in the service guide obtained by MacRumors.

Apple has an input testing lab so it’s certainly tested this new design for reliability. But it may not be able to announce the fix because it’s still selling computers with the old keyboard design, and there’s pending litigation about it.

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