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By Joanna Stern
Stop me if you've heard this before: Apple Inc. is promising to fix the MacBook keyboard issues. Yes, again.
Apple on Tuesday said it was changing a material used in its butterfly keyboards and expanding its keyboard-repair program. The program previously covered first- and second-generation keyboards, but now includes coverage of the third-generation keyboards introduced last year on MacBook Air and high-end MacBook Pro models.
At the same time, Apple upgraded its line of MacBook Pros.
Users of all generations of Apple butterfly keyboard have reported missed keystrokes and double presses of keys. When I sought answers from Apple about the issues I've had on my own MacBook Air earlier this year, and detailed the types of problems that other users were also reporting, the company apologized. It said only a small number of users are experiencing the issues.
IHS Markit, a global market-research firm, said Apple shipped over 40 million laptops world-wide between 2016 and 2018, and the majority had butterfly keyboards.
For people who are having issues, Apple's news can be broken into two pieces that may be of use:
-- Changing materials. The company said it has made a change to a material in the keyboard mechanism. Apple didn't say what specifically changed but said it would help with the double key-press issue. The newly announced MacBook Pros -- shipping Tuesday -- will have this new material.
-- Improving repairs. All Mac laptops with butterfly keyboards are now eligible for Apple's program and are covered for up to four years after the original purchase. Apple said it is also shortening the repair time, which previously could take a week.
The best news? Apple said the fix it is providing to qualifying MacBook models with third-generation keyboards will include the new material. Of course, we will have to see whether that is the solution we have been waiting for.
When asked if it would continue to use the butterfly keyboards in future models, the company declined to comment on future products. The keyboard is only one of several recent product-related problems Apple has had, from iPhone battery software issues to shipment delays of the HomePod and AirPods to the cancellation of my absolute favorite Apple product that never was, the AirPower wireless charger.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 21, 2019 15:16 ET (19:16 GMT)
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