Apple hit with class action suit over MacBook, MacBook Pro butterfly switch keyboard failu...

24

Comments

  • Reply 21 of 75
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,221member
    As most of th se stories have app,e fixing the keyboard I am having trouble working out why a class action is needed.
    the one instance is the guy who got it fixed, it happened a second time out of warranty and Apple wanted to charge him $700. That is not right.  In fact out of character for Apple. I have had stuff fixed out of warranty several times. And in this bloke’s instance, it was the same fault as had been a warranty fix! Should have been free.
    Alex1N
  • Reply 22 of 75
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,297member
    I’d love to know what the underlying issue is with this keyboard. The ATP guys (and others) claim it’s Apple’s obsession with thinness but there are other laptops on the market just as thin (or thinner) than the MBP. I’m not aware of Windows OEM laptops having major keyboard issues.
    Alex1N
  • Reply 23 of 75
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,920member
    One can not beat up or file law suit against Apple because few of them have keyboard issues. Some use certain keys lot more than others or hit harder or eat over keyboard with crumbs inside keyboard gaps,etc. Keyboard is mechanical component so every keyboard(keys) will have some kind of problem at some point in time so we need to compare current MBP's keyboard issues with the previous gen MBP and rest of industry's(windows) laptops keyboard. If at par or above than case closed. Someone can argue that MBP price compare to similarly equipped(under hood) laptops is higher so reliability expectation is higher but discussion of that topic is for some other time.
    edited May 2018 randominternetperson
  • Reply 24 of 75
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    A friend of mine had this problem. But he's a pig. He doesn't wash his hands before he types. I have no sympathy for him.
    kiltedgreen
  • Reply 25 of 75
    AI_liasAI_lias Posts: 435member
    I’d love to know what the underlying issue is with this keyboard. The ATP guys (and others) claim it’s Apple’s obsession with thinness but there are other laptops on the market just as thin (or thinner) than the MBP. I’m not aware of Windows OEM laptops having major keyboard issues.
    It could very well be that the cost to replace those is $40, and not $700.
    baconstangAlex1Nkiowavt
  • Reply 26 of 75
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    bkkcanuck said:
    I have a MacBook 2015 and I am quite happy with the design overall.  I don't eat over the keyboard, and always wash my hands before using the computer (especially after eating or anything else).  Yes, the keyboard is likely a little overly sensitive, but the failure rates have yet to reach a level that would support it being called a design defect.  At what point of the spectrum - does the rough treatment (which sticky fingers are) damaging a computer becomes a "design defect"?  I don't see Apple advertising that they computer can be used with sticky fingers or eating over it :open_mouth:   So yes, the keyboard is a more fragile design - no it should not be considered a design defect - yes it is a design that should be improved upon...  As far as use, I can actually type faster on low profile keyboards (though not glass - I have to feel the keys, but I don't pound them into the ground)... all I need is to know that when a key is hit it will register... which some of the really old keyboards... would not necessarily do if off center.  

    It becomes a design defect when the design fails to account for normal use.  This design seems to qualify.   (Sorry, but people eating while working is normal use.)

    This whole thing is an example of what has always set Apple apart:  It's not their great, innovative products.  Anybody with a few bucks can hire an engineer to innovate.  It's that Apple designs great, innovative products that "JUST WORK!". 

    Instead, this seems to be the result of over engineering -- trying to hit a goal (thin and light) which results in unacceptable comprises.   In this case, its a keyboard that has a high rate of failure but without an acceptable means of repair due to the non-modular / highly integrated design of the laptop.  It's a series of design compromises that compound each other. 

    In short, Apple pushed the envelope too far. 
    Can it work?  Yes! 
    Does it often fail?  Yes. 
    Can it reasonably be repaired?  No!

    I hate to pull the "Steve card".  But it seems to me that, since his death, the whole Mac line up has been pushing too hard to maintain its technical leadership position and, too often, coming up short in the real life test that Steve tended to excel in.   A scene from the (first) Steve Jobs movie comes to mind where, after repeatedly pressing a key that doesn't work, he proclaims:  "junk!" and then casually tosses the Walkman into the trash can.   I can picture him doing that with the MBP after its keyboard started failing him.  Steve didn't tolerate mediocrity.
    baconstangAlex1Napres587kiowavtmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 27 of 75
    saroniansaronian Posts: 8member
    Three months after purchasing my MacBook Pro in 2016 the “T” key became unresponsive. I took it into the Apple store in San Francisco expecting and immediate replacement, but was surprised to be told it would require a repair. They said I could purchase a new replacement and return it when the repair was complete two weeks later. Instead I left it for repair and used used my old computer.

    Apple’s refusal to replace a 90-day old computer which, was used for work, led me to believe they knew about the problem and would be stonewalling consumers until an updated MacBook Pro was released. Next I purchased AppleCare for the MacBook Pro and will continue to return it for repair as often as needed.

    I’m hoping Apple takes some heat for their failure to support professional users. You can be sure any future updates to the MacBook Pro will include a new and improved keyboard design.
    apple2cbaconstangmazda 3sAlex1Nkiowavt
  • Reply 28 of 75
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    henrybay said:
    The class action should also include the lack of adequate keyboard travel on the new MacBooks. Shallow keys are terrible for long writing sessions. They are not much better than writing on an iPad. 
    My own suspicion is that what people think is a lack of "travel" or "feel" is actually a lack of "wobble". The butterfly mechanism was specifically introduced to cut back on the wobble of the key when struck vs. the hinge design. It also seems unlikely when looking at prior keyboard designs that the keys are really traveling much further physically. There may be a difference, but you're probably talking about fractions of a millimeter.
    Wobble?   I don't think so....  My Lenovo keyboard has zero wobble but far more feel and travel -- and I wouldn't trade it for any MacBook keyboard.  The MacBook keyboards sacrificed typing feel for thin & light.  If I traveled a lot with my laptop I wouldn't mind the compromise.   But I don't and therefor have no reason to give up typing efficiency for increased mobility (or "modern" appearance).  
    baconstangAlex1N
  • Reply 29 of 75
    tokyojimutokyojimu Posts: 531member
    My MacBook is under a year old and two keys are already intermittently not working. And no, I never eat over my keyboard. I don’t have a spare computer to use at this point (my Air was stolen), so I don’t know what I’m supposed to do for the one to two weeks a “repair” takes. $700 to repair one broken key is also unacceptable. Maybe iFixit is onto something. 
    retrogustoelectrosoftapple2cbaconstangAlex1Nkiowavt
  • Reply 30 of 75
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    nunzy said:
    A friend of mine had this problem. But he's a pig. He doesn't wash his hands before he types. I have no sympathy for him.
    That makes most of the world pigs...   Certainly me...  Excuse my while I take a bite!   Ooops!  Crumbs!   But, no problem - this is a Lenovo Thinkpad and it just "keeps on ticking..."  (And, if doesn't, I can replace the keyboard in about 10 minutes for around $40.)
    electrosoftAlex1NSydNkiowavt
  • Reply 31 of 75
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    AI_lias said:
    I’d love to know what the underlying issue is with this keyboard. The ATP guys (and others) claim it’s Apple’s obsession with thinness but there are other laptops on the market just as thin (or thinner) than the MBP. I’m not aware of Windows OEM laptops having major keyboard issues.
    It could very well be that the cost to replace those is $40, and not $700.
    It's not either / or.   It's both.  
    Based on my Lenovo Thinkpad:   The keyboards have better feel.  They don't break.  But, when they do they can be replaced in 10 minutes for $40.
    elijahgapple2cAlex1N
  • Reply 32 of 75
    dws-2dws-2 Posts: 277member
    The keyboard is fine to type on. It's not quite as good as the previous keyboard, but alone that wouldn't bother me. However, even when the keys don't outright fail, they get stuck easily from dust, and when the processor gets warm, the keys get sticky. It's a poorly designed keyboard from a durability perspective, and Apple made a mistake in this case. What bothers me is that they knew the keyboard was flaky, and they still put it in the MacBook Pro 2016. 
    apple2cbaconstangAlex1Nkiowavtavon b7electrosoft
  • Reply 33 of 75
    glee217glee217 Posts: 15member
    Ridiculous.  What determines whether something is law suit worthy?  If a company makes a product that isn't durable and treats its customers poorly, the market will "reward" that company with poor future sales.  That's how the system to works.  Unless someone gets hurt or the company reneges on warranty obligations, why should I court get involved?

    Yeah and what about expensive car repairs like Mercedes that have many many problems much more than Toyota  for example did they get sued?
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 34 of 75
    mikethemartianmikethemartian Posts: 1,428member
    nunzy said:
    A friend of mine had this problem. But he's a pig. He doesn't wash his hands before he types. I have no sympathy for him.
    Anyone who doesn't install an ISO 1 clean room in their home doesn't deserve to use Apple products.
    GeorgeBMacAlex1Napres587kiowavtavon b7nunzyelectrosoft
  • Reply 35 of 75
    photoeditorphotoeditor Posts: 244member
    Apple needed to be hit with this. The keyboard on the 2015 and '16 MacBooks and on the 2016 MacBook Pro is appalling, weird feedback, tons of errors at least for me and a version of the butterfly mechanism that's now been discontinued. I've heard they're actually using the 2017 part to fix '16 Pros with failed keyboards. Even the 2017 one, I think, is still prone to jams from dirt ingress and I'm hedging my bets with one of those silicone keyboard covers. But at least it's a heck of a lot faster and more accurate to type on than the previous year.

    It doesn't surprise me about the "B" key vulnerability; being where it is, it's the most prone to dirt ingress from around the spacebar, I would think. The way I type I suspect the "N" key might also be vulnerable.

    To all those complaining about lawsuits....it's how regulation is done in the US. Either you have a system where you can enforce standards through discovery and litigation like in the US, or you have a system like France where you enforce them with lots of government inspectors and rules, or you have anarchy where everyone's free to con and rip each other off all the time as opposed to having to weigh whether they'll get caught.
    edited May 2018 apple2cbaconstangGeorgeBMacapplesnorangesmazda 3sAlex1NSydNkiowavt
  • Reply 36 of 75
    photoeditorphotoeditor Posts: 244member
    Ridiculous.  What determines whether something is law suit worthy?  If a company makes a product that isn't durable and treats its customers poorly, the market will "reward" that company with poor future sales.  That's how the system to works.  Unless someone gets hurt or the company reneges on warranty obligations, why should I court get involved?
    Yeah, like the market's really free to do that on a whim, with thousands in stranded costs per user around a particular software and hardware platform.

    If a company screws up like this, it should go beyond the basic warranty. The real kicker for me is that Apple started using the 2017 part to repair broken keyboards on the 2016 model in the MacBook Pro. That tells me the 2016 keyboard is a recall situation, a fundamentally flawed part, and should be treated as such. By all means let them do a soft recall -- we don't want every Apple Store "idiot bar" gridlocked for a month. But it should be a recall. And maybe if they'd treated it as such before now there wouldn't be a lawsuit. Shades here of the 2011 AMD solder failure in 15-inch MacBook Pros, where Apple stonewalling it for years left many people without resolution of the problem whatsoever.
    baconstangAlex1Napres587kiowavt
  • Reply 37 of 75
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,788member
    I’d love to know what the underlying issue is with this keyboard. The ATP guys (and others) claim it’s Apple’s obsession with thinness but there are other laptops on the market just as thin (or thinner) than the MBP. I’m not aware of Windows OEM laptops having major keyboard issues.
    They don't use Apple's butterfly mechanism though, so they don't have the keyboard reliability issue. As AI reported with a Dell they reviewed - the key travel is actually longer on the thinner Dell which uses a standard scissor mechanism than on the MBP. Dell obviously managed to make something thinner elsewhere to allow a full travel keyboard, whereas Apple's engineers couldn't, or someone decided shorter travel was better than (further) reduced battery life; all under Ive's obsessive constraint of "it must be another Xmm thinner no matter what". So shaving a few millimetres from the travel allowed Apple to shave off another millimetre or two from the machine's depth, which required a new switch mechanism, ultimately to the detriment of usability. Did anyone ever say "the keys travel too far" before? The 2015 MBP keyboard was oft rated as one of the best in the industry and rarely failed.

    The problem is compounded by Apple's anti-repair practises. People wouldn't mind as much is they didn't have to replace half the computer for a dead key. I have no idea why people defend Apple's anti-repair practises so much, it's really not eco nor user-friendly at all. The argument they make is glueing everything together makes it more reliable, though there isn't really much evidence to show this - but it's obvious to anyone that being able to replace a keyboard for £35 is a lot less wasteful than replacing the entire top case and battery for £600. That's hugely wasteful, and despite being from an engineering background, I can't see how making them one component makes it more reliable. Apple's all for eco-friendly when it suits them, and very not eco-friendly when it might have some small detriment to their repair profits. I think the right to repair legalisation is a brilliant idea, and if I was a US citizen, I'd support it 100%.

    Also... people seem to like the apparently wobbly keys. They feel more comfortable, they're quieter and seemingly more reliable. 
    edited May 2018 electrosoftapple2capplesnorangesmazda 3sAlex1Ncroprapres587kiowavtavon b7muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 38 of 75
    markromarkro Posts: 3member
    Using Apple computers since 1986. Love them. This keyboard has a serious design flaw. Both my wife’s and my 2016 13” mbp have had keys that don’t work, or double type. So far there have been only transient failures... glad this lawsuit was filed. I anticipate increasing keyboard failure in the imminent future.
    applesnorangesAlex1NSydNkiowavt
  • Reply 39 of 75
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,537member
    The only thing that bothers me here is the following statement:

    "Not able to wait the one week it would take to fix the machine, and unconvinced that a repair would permanently solve the issue, Rao declined the offer and purchased an external keyboard.

    If a product vendor offers to make things right and take responsibility for the repair - but instead the person decides to be a douche about it and launch a crusade against the product vendor, then this person has a much bigger problem than a flaky keyboard. To add to the douche bag factor, you have someone unwilling to wait a week for a repair but somehow willing to mess around for months with a lawsuit. This makes sense ... for someone seriously in need of a real life.

    The bigger question is why has Apple become a constant magnet for class action lawsuits? In the universe of consumer products, most of which suffer from failure rates and flaws at levels much greater than anything Apple makes, why is Apple such a frequent target? I believe that it has much more to do with social media and dog pack mentality. People can no longer suffer individual problems that they manage to keep to themselves and deal with on their own with the vendor. In this case the "victim" declined direct help from the vendor but decided instead to wave raw meat in front of the pack. Every problem that anyone suffers in today's connected society becomes everyone's problem whether you care about the issue or not. The social buzz and self declared victimization gets everyone worked into a froth and frenzy. In this type of environment the class action lawsuit is almost a certainty. Once a company like Apple succumbs to the frenzy the class action lawsuit mechanism becomes a recurring attack vector to be used against the company for any and all transgressions, no matter how large or small. 

    It's funny how the demand for perfection only applies to all entities other than oneself.
    applesnorangesAlex1Nrandominternetperson
  • Reply 40 of 75
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,110member
    I've got a late 2017 MBP and while it appears I'm one of the very few, rare people that likes the new keyboard, this is a legitimate concern.  I'm a neat freak while using my MBP and always keep the keyboard clean and don't use it as a dinner plate.

    However, that doesn't mean that I'm giving Apple a free pass here.  Paying $700 to repair/replace a keyboard on a fully-functioning "pro" laptop is downright extortion and I feel that Apple truly should be ashamed of themselves for introduction a design that could actually be defective.

    I'm watching this one closely.  I don't think I'll really experience that problem, but it does bring a level of concern as this could affect the resale value of my machine if/when I upgrade.
    apple2cbaconstangapplesnorangesmazda 3sAlex1Nmuthuk_vanalingam
Sign In or Register to comment.