2016 MacBook Pro butterfly keyboards failing twice as frequently as older models

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  • Reply 21 of 204
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 2,891administrator
    dws-2 said:
    I got the keyboard replaced for my 2016 MBP with touchbar, and this new keyboard is a LOT better, but I worry that it's just a matter of time before it fails. Also, I'm be surprised if the failure rate were only 10%. It also depends on what 'failure' means. If someone needs to come into an Apple Store and have an employee blow the key out with compressed air, does that count as a failure? I think there's just a lot of people out there who live with broken or poorly performance things because they don't have the time/energy/pickiness to fix it. They just hit the key harder, use compressed air, or accept that sometimes the keys don't work.
    The numbers are failed, necessitating replacement, not just an air-blow.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 22 of 204
    bsimpsenbsimpsen Posts: 237member
    SEJU said:
    It depends from what Mike is referring to A) units sold B) dataset gathered from a certain number of service points ...
    Yes it does depend on what the statistics refer to, and since that has not been described, the statistics may be as meaningless as the anecdotal evidence provided by others here. I have a 2016 MacBook Pro that's seen constant use and abuse for a year and a half and is still working fine. That means nothing, I am statistically insignificant. If anything, what I'd take away from Mike's numbers is that, even with a slight uptick in MacBook Pro unit volumes over the last two years, the aggregate number of service calls has gone down. Still, we've no idea whether that's because of improving quality, or a change in allocation of service calls to the centers Mike has been surveying.

    If an Apple service center opened across the street from my own, cutting my business in half, I would not claim that Apple's field failure rate had been cut in half.
  • Reply 23 of 204
    SEJUSEJU Posts: 39member
    This is a massive problem. I have been using Macs since the early 90s and never had such severe problems with a computer! I have PowerBooks still working today! I mean my 2016 15” is a wonderful machine, great design and everything. I don’t complain about the travel of the keys, the missing interfaces, the touchbar or such things, but when my keyboard broke in November I got really frightened. I handle my machines really, really careful, but when I was confronted with a potential 700 euro bill for a broken keyboard I had to reasses my opinion about Apple. I mean I had AppleCare, but this is not acceptable. The point is when AppleCare tried to repair the keyboard, by replacing the top case they broke the touch bar connector and had to replace the logicboard ... we have to do something! If Apple has chosen to use this design, ok, but they should provide keyboard replacements at the cost of the key, and not the top case. It is their fault! Today I thought we should get organized, make a website just like we did for the 2011 GPU caos! Who is in?
    baconstang
  • Reply 24 of 204
    lmaclmac Posts: 139member
    Apple has kept this quiet remarkably well. I won't buy a laptop with the butterfly keyboard because I've seen so many problems with them. Apple needs to fix this! Take into account that by the time it fails a third time, it's usually beyond even the extended AppleCare, and that renders a repair cost prohibitive. And this recommended fix rarely does the trick: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205662
    edited April 30
  • Reply 25 of 204
    tpf1952tpf1952 Posts: 54member
    The keyboard on my 2016 13" MBP Touch Bar failed a few months ago; the right side Command key remained stuck in the depressed position. On it's return, the startup key was crimped; back it went a second time. I was fortunate to have my projects on external drives and a backup MPB. 

    Tom

  • Reply 26 of 204
    AI_liasAI_lias Posts: 224member
    I kept hearing stories about this elsewhere, good to see it covered here. Feeling nervous for my MacBook Pro 13" from 2016. If I'll have to pay half the price of the laptop just to fix a key on the keyboard, it'll be a decision moment: buy a Windows laptop, or Apple desktop. This sounds like a major design fail. So if a key fails, can you program the touchbar to display that key (until you fix it)?
    Anjanean1
  • Reply 27 of 204
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,128member
    I wish someone told me how bad this keyboard was when I upgraded my 2015 MBP to the 2017 MBP.  I have zero problem with the keyboard. Sure the clicks are louder than the old keyboard but that's it.  I just don't get the hate.  It's a keyboard.  The feel is fine for me, I can type just as fast on it as I did with the past models.  #firstworldproblem

    That being said, now knowing that just about the entire innards has to be replaced should a key fail is cause for concern as I always upgraded to newer models by selling my old one. 
    SEJUpscooter63
  • Reply 28 of 204
    I have had this issue for a couple of months. The local service centre refuses to acknowledge that its an issue. The ctrl key doesn’t respond unless I pause and press it harder that usual. The techs at service centre are being a d*** and saying that all diagnostics are normal. I don’t have an APP :(
    way to go screwing around your customers Apple

  • Reply 29 of 204
    Take a vacuum cleaner to they keyboard, gently. That solved issue with the spacebar on my '16 MacBook. Less travel distances means less clearance for the crap that gets in the keyboard, meaning more likely the key won't engage when pressed. It's a simple fix.
    singhvik
  • Reply 30 of 204
    SEJUSEJU Posts: 39member
    bsimpsen said:
    SEJU said:
    It depends from what Mike is referring to A) units sold B) dataset gathered from a certain number of service points ...
    Yes it does depend on what the statistics refer to, and since that has not been described, the statistics may be as meaningless as the anecdotal evidence provided by others here. I have a 2016 MacBook Pro that's seen constant use and abuse for a year and a half and is still working fine. That means nothing, I am statistically insignificant. If anything, what I'd take away from Mike's numbers is that, even with a slight uptick in MacBook Pro unit volumes over the last two years, the aggregate number of service calls has gone down. Still, we've no idea whether that's because of improving quality, or a change in allocation of service calls to the centers Mike has been surveying.

    If an Apple service center opened across the street from my own, cutting my business in half, I would not claim that Apple's field failure rate had been cut in half.
    Lucky you! My MBP’s keyboard broke in Novembre. At first I thought there might be just some dirt under the key, but brought it to AppleCare. Than hell broke out! I had to return 3 times. It took over a month to have it solved. They exchanged the motherboard twice, because they broke a connector the first time. 

    To to be precise: it is obvious that theoretically there should be less repairs, since the new design almost resembles an iPad. There are no moving parts (apart from the keyboard and display hinge), no HDD, no dvd drive. Today everything is integrated into the logicboard. When you open the machine it is actually really simple, very few parts there, and you see how far they have gone since the PowerBook or MBP 2006, but this keyboard appears to be a major design fault. Not for how you type on it, but for how fragile it is and how difficult to service it is!
    baconstangfastasleep
  • Reply 31 of 204
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 2,891administrator
    sflocal said:
    I wish someone told me how bad this keyboard was when I upgraded my 2015 MBP to the 2017 MBP.  I have zero problem with the keyboard. Sure the clicks are louder than the old keyboard but that's it.  I just don't get the hate.  It's a keyboard.  The feel is fine for me, I can type just as fast on it as I did with the past models.  #firstworldproblem

    That being said, now knowing that just about the entire innards has to be replaced should a key fail is cause for concern as I always upgraded to newer models by selling my old one. 
    More than half of my words here since I got the 2016 have been on the keyboard, with the rest on a wireless one. 

    So far, so good with no stuck keys or other oddities -- but I realize my experience is anecdotal.
  • Reply 32 of 204
    It looks like the vast majority of keyboards work well and are reliable.
    chasm
  • Reply 33 of 204
    SEJUSEJU Posts: 39member
    sflocal said:
    I wish someone told me how bad this keyboard was when I upgraded my 2015 MBP to the 2017 MBP.  I have zero problem with the keyboard. Sure the clicks are louder than the old keyboard but that's it.  I just don't get the hate.  It's a keyboard.  The feel is fine for me, I can type just as fast on it as I did with the past models.  #firstworldproblem

    That being said, now knowing that just about the entire innards has to be replaced should a key fail is cause for concern as I always upgraded to newer models by selling my old one. 
    Well said! I don’t have a problem with typing on it! I actually like it! But when I discovered that it can brake out of nothing and cost me over 700-800 euro to repair ... I mean it already cost me close to 5000,- and I have to type on it ... I work with it....
  • Reply 34 of 204
    SEJU said: It depends from what Mike is referring to A ) units sold B ) dataset gathered from a certain number of service points ...
    The point being made is that the data from service centers is only the percentage of keyboard related repairs they see, not the actual "failure rate" of the butterfly mechanism keyboards. That would need to be determined using the total units sold. So although the data shows that keyboard related repairs has gone up, the difference in actual "failure rate" is pretty minimal and easily falls within the typical standards for any mass produced computer product. 
    pscooter63
  • Reply 35 of 204
    I have two 2016 MBP of them one was replaced with Apple Care about 4 months ago and now the other is starting to have the same keyboard problems!! I don't have to remind everyone to back up before you go to the genius bar!! I never thought I would get a different computer because the J & I keys were sticking!
    cgWerks
  • Reply 36 of 204
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 2,891administrator
    captmark said:
    I have two 2016 MBP of them one was replaced with Apple Care about 4 months ago and now the other is starting to have the same keyboard problems!! I don't have to remind everyone to back up before you go to the genius bar!! I never thought I would get a different computer because the J & I keys were sticking!
    This is good advice.

    Apple can and does periodically just hand you a service-stock piece of gear instead of checking in a machine for repairs. This is more prevalent with iPhones and iPads.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 37 of 204
    SEJUSEJU Posts: 39member

    tpf1952 said:
    The keyboard on my 2016 13" MBP Touch Bar failed a few months ago; the right side Command key remained stuck in the depressed position. On it's return, the startup key was crimped; back it went a second time. I was fortunate to have my projects on external drives and a backup MPB. 

    Tom

    This is precisely what happened to me! The Command key stopped working, they had to exchange the top case assembly, somehow broke the startup key attachment to the logic board, tried to exchange logic board and touchbar, just to find out that they have to be matched, exchanged them again ... a mint latter I discovered dark patches on the screen and had it exchanged ... By the way ... upon receiving my MBP the first thing I discovered on the very first day I had it, was that when my audio interface gets unplugged the touchbar goes blank and Inhave to restart. Over 1 and a half years latter and several updates to MacOS and nothing is changed!
  • Reply 38 of 204
    Eric_WVGGEric_WVGG Posts: 351member
    MisterKit said:
    It looks like the vast majority of keyboards work well and are reliable.
    85% is not a vast majority, that's barely better than 4 our of five keyboards working reliably.
  • Reply 39 of 204
    Eric_WVGGEric_WVGG Posts: 351member
    Sounds about right. They really don’t feel that good to use, either.
    Well, that's subjective. While it's working, I think it's the best keyboard I've ever used in my life. 
  • Reply 40 of 204
    irelandireland Posts: 17,223member
    Loving my MBA.
    baconstang
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