Rumor: Apple Plans To Replace Butterfly Keyboards With Old Reliable Scissor Switches

People look at MacBook Airs at the World Trade Center Apple Store during a Black Friday sales event in Manhattan, New York City
People look at MacBook Airs at the World Trade Center Apple Store during a Black Friday sales event in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., November 23, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Andrew Kelly)

TF International Securities analyst and noted Apple insider Ming-Chi Kuo recently reported that Apple is planning to make some significant changes on its keyboards. Kuo released an updated timeline when Apple plans to replace the butterfly keyboards on its devices, mainly the MacBooks.

Kuo wrote that Apple is making a major upgrade by ditching the butterfly keyboards in favor of newer and more reliable keyboard switches. Instead of the butterfly switches, Kuo noted that Apple would instead use scissor switches.

According to Kuo, the 2020 MacBook lineup will be one of the first devices to receive this upgrade. The first model to receive this upgrade will be the 16-inch MacBook Pro. Other models will follow along. The 16-inch MacBook Pro is expected to go on sale in September.

Apple has faced criticism for several years over its decision to use butterfly keyboard switches, instead of the more reliable scissor switches. Apple may have finally conceded to the demands of its user base, and finally made the necessary switch.

Reports claim that the new keyboard design will use a scissor mechanism with glass fibers in order to further reinforce the keys and prevent them from breaking. These new keys are reportedly more durable and will last longer compared to the current ones.

Rumors about Apple ditching the butterfly keyboard in favor of newer switches have been flying around the tech community for quite a while now. Initial rumors claim that the MacBook Air will be the first Apple product that will receive this new upgrade, and the 16-inch MacBook Pro will receive the upgrade next year. Based on Kuo's newest timeline, the release date was swapped for the two devices and that the 16-inch MacBook Pro will get the upgrade first, with the MacBook Air scheduled for next year.

The butterfly keyboard setup was first introduced by Apple in 2015. This keyboard switch was used as part of the company's effort to slim down its flagship laptops. One of the most infamous problems with these keyboard switches is that dust would often get under the switches, causing them to malfunction. Apple had introduced a number of measures to prevent this from happening, including adding rubber stoppers and tweaking the design with new materials in order to improve durability.

Apple has since acknowledged this issue, stating that it had only affected a 'small number' of devices. The company has also launched a repair program wherein affected devices can be brought in and repaired.

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