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Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple will ditch the butterfly-switch keyboard for something that actually works, starting with the 2019 MacBook Air

Apple could adopt the scissor switch keyboard mechanism in upcoming MacBooks. (Source: iFixit)
Apple could adopt the scissor switch keyboard mechanism in upcoming MacBooks. (Source: iFixit)
A new report by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo indicates that Apple might ditch the troublesome butterfly-switch keyboard mechanism on upcoming MacBooks in favor of the scissor-switch. Kuo expects the MacBook Air refresh this year to sport the new switch type followed by the MacBook Pro models next year.
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Pre-2015 MacBook owners who have been holding off their upgrades due to faulty keyboards on newer models finally have a reason to cheer up. Famed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is now predicting that Apple will finally do away with the butterfly-switch mechanism for a new scissor-switch keyboard. The butterfly-switch keyboard mechanism on the MacBook has become a perennial issue for Apple with the Cupertino-giant even being sued for faulty butterfly-switch keyboards. 

The transition to the scissor-switch keyboard is first expected to be seen when the refreshed MacBook Air launches later this year. Kuo's report says,

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.

We believe the partially refreshed MacBook Pro models will also adopt a new scissor keyboard in 2020; shipments of MacBook models equipped with a new scissor keyboard will grow 500–700% YoY in 2020. Though the butterfly keyboard is still thinner than the new scissor keyboard, we think most users can't tell the difference. Furthermore, the new scissor keyboard could offer a better user experience and benefit Apple's profits; therefore, we predict that the butterfly keyboard may finally disappear in the long term."

While we could see a scissor switch keyboard in the MacBook Air this year, the MacBook Pro is only expected to sport it in 2020. Kuo also mentions that the new keyboards will be made by Taiwanese firm Sunrex instead of Wistron and is slated for mass production next year. 

Apple received a lot of flak in the recent past related to instances of failed butterfly keyboards. Even the third-gen butterfly mechanism, which had a silicone barrier to prevent debris ingress, showed signs of keys not actuating with the company having had to initiate repairs at local Apple Stores to minimize downtime.

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Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - Managing Editor - 1340 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2012
Though a cell and molecular biologist by training, I have been drawn towards computers from a very young age ever since I got my first PC in 1998. My passion for technology grew quite exponentially with the times, and it has been an incredible experience from being a much solicited source for tech advice and troubleshooting among family and friends to joining Notebookcheck in 2017 as a professional tech journalist. Now, I am a Lead Editor at Notebookcheck covering news and reviews encompassing a wide gamut of the technology landscape for Indian and global audiences. When I am not hunting for the next big story or taking complex measurements for reviews, you can find me unwinding to a nice read, listening to some soulful music, or trying out a new game.
contact me via: @Geeky_Vaidy
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 07 > Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple will ditch the butterfly-switch keyboard for something that actually works, starting with the 2019 MacBook Air
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2019-07- 5 (Update: 2019-07- 5)