Apple Confirms 2018 MacBook Pro Keyboard Has ‘Membrane’ to ‘Prevent Debris From Entering the Butterfly Mechanism’
In an internal document distributed to Apple Authorized Service Providers, obtained by MacRumors from a reliable source, Apple has confirmed that the third-generation keyboard on 2018 MacBook Pro models is equipped with a “membrane” to “prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism.”
Image Credit: iFixit
The relevant excerpt from the service document:
Keyboard and Keycaps
The 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.
In its teardown of the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar last week, the repair experts at iFixit were first to discover the thin, silicone barrier underneath the keycaps, and theorized that it was to prevent dust indeed.
Publicly, Apple has only confirmed that 2018 MacBook Pro models feature an “improved third-generation keyboard for quieter typing,” but many suspected that the silicon membrane was actually to prevent “contaminate ingress,” fancy speak for the crumbs from your sandwich that you ate at your desk for lunch.
Following years of anecdotal complaints from customers, and a few class action lawsuits, Apple initiated a worldwide service program last month, offering free repairs of 2015-and-later MacBook and 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro keyboards, which are equipped with low-profile butterfly switch mechanisms.
We’ve already reported about the service program in more detail, but the gist is that those particular MacBook and MacBook Pro models can experience issues with sticky, unresponsive, or inconsistently functioning keys when small particles like dust or crumbs get stuck underneath the shallower keycaps.
We’ve reached out to Apple for comment.
More details to follow…
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