It took Apple years to admit that its “butterfly switches” were defective and subsequently launch an extended repair program to try and contain the issue. Just recently Apple announced their new MacBook Pro lineup with third-generation butterfly switches and not a lot has changed it seems.
To sum up on what we’re talking about here is what iFixit‘s Sam Lionheart calls Apple’s “silent scheme to fix their keyboard reliability issues”. A teardown of the new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro’s confirms what Apple had told The Verge. All that has changed with this generation of butterfly switches are that they are quieter than last years switches. How may you ask?
Apple has added a thin silicone strip below each key to make them more silent. The flexible silicone enclosure will also ensure up to a point that dust particles and food crumbles don’t enter the keys. This does not come across as a surprise, however, since Apple did patent this mechanism back in March in an attempt to “prevent and/or alleviate contaminant ingress.”
As pointed out in the iFixit post, Apple is in the midst of multiple class action lawsuits for their debacle with the butterfly switches so they cannot just blatantly come out and say that the silicone layer fixes all issues. That’s because it would amount to Apple owning up that there was an issue in the first place.
Nobody is yet to put the new keys through its paces to see whether what comes across as the perfect cover-up mechanism by Apple is actually any good against dust. But we do expect to find out over time whether Apple is taking the issue seriously enough to have tried to fix the issue, even though it can’t openly state it.