Conflicting information distributed inside Apple about reason for silicone MacBook Pro key...

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited July 19
A pair of documents covering Apple's service policies and procedures conflict on the reasoning for the silicone gasket around the key mechanisms in the new 2018 MacBook Pro.




Apple service providers are given details on how to handle repairs on a new product at about the same time as the product releases. One version of this document was cited by French website MacGeneration on Thursday morning, with that version from July 14, and possibly earlier, saying that the seal will also act to cut back on dust and debris entering the mechanism.

MacGeneration has no country of origin on its version of the documentation, but after talking to the publication about it, we believe the information provided came from a legitimate source.

Service documentation provided by MacGeneration
Service documentation provided by MacGeneration


AppleInsider has access to the same documentation in the United States. Even after three revisions since publication, the U.S. documentation has never made such a claim that the gasket would "prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism," but retains identical language about the space bar replacement technique, as well as in the remainder of the captured document.

Apple's marketing copy has always maintained that the new keyboard is quieter, and has said nothing about it improving reliability.

There have been a number of cases where the butterfly key mechanism has caused keyboard issues for the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro, as well as the MacBook, including repeated characters, unresponsive keys, and other similar issues. The problems prompted Apple to launch a keyboard service program for the issue, with affected users able to receive free servicing on their notebooks.

The new keyboard is touted as being quieter while typing, likely in part due to the addition of a silicone membrane surrounding each butterfly mechanism. It is plausible the membrane could help prevent dust and debris from interfering with the mechanism, with the lower volume potentially being a side effect of its inclusion.

The membrane is not a perfect seal, however. There are gaps to allow the keycap to connect to the keyboard, and a larger one in the center of the cap.

The 2018 MacBook Pro keyboard, claimed by Apple to be quieter than the second and first-generation butterfly switch designs used in the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro and MacBook releases, won't be offered to owners of earlier models if they are brought into an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider for servicing.

Confirmed by AppleInsider sources within Apple corporate not authorized to speak on behalf of the company, the earlier MacBook Pro units will receive the same keyboard design as they already have, not the new version. At this time, only the 2018 MacBook Pro will receive the new design if maintenance is required.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 2,998member
    Why is it so hard for Apple to be straight about this?
    dws-2canukstormmuthuk_vanalingamirelandAvieshek
  • Reply 2 of 30
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,022member
    Looks like those who wrote the service doc didn't get the memo about not mentioning this. Was bound to slip somewhere. 
    muthuk_vanalingamAvieshek
  • Reply 3 of 30
    I think you guys need to let it go per the keyboard until something has actually been proven regarding the overall repairs for the 1st/2nd gen butterfly. If there's no actual proof of anything, then a discrepancy between local repair documentation in different countries is meaningless. For example, if Apple rolls out numbers that show the repairs were within general industry standards, then it doesn't actually matter if the silicone membrane helps with dust/crumbs or if there's a discrepancy in local tech manuals from different countries. Apple is allowed to improve their products without that being treated like suspicious behavior.
    andrewj5790pscooter63StrangeDays
  • Reply 4 of 30
    irelandireland Posts: 17,294member
    Why is it so hard for Apple to be straight about this?
    This is why public companies are ultimately bad for humanity. The question is, at what point in future history does humanity collectively recognise this. To me, it's plainly obvious the real reason for the membrane is for dust.
    edited July 19 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 5 of 30
    Why is it so hard for Apple to be straight about this?
    Does anyone actually know whether Apple corporate has granular control over the wording of tech repair documents in every country? This is sort of a silly example, IMO. It's being treated like it's a statement from Apple corporate, and there's no real reason to think about it like that.
    dws-2pscooter63
  • Reply 6 of 30
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,927member
    slurpy said:
    Looks like those who wrote the service doc didn't get the memo about not mentioning this. Was bound to slip somewhere. 
    I believe this is what is known as “the smoking pen”. 
    andrewj5790muthuk_vanalingamireland
  • Reply 7 of 30
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,927member
    The membrane is not a perfect seal, however. There are gaps to allow the keycap to connect to the keyboard, and a larger one in the center of the cap.


    I thought that when I first saw it. “That’s not going to keep out bits of Jaffa cake”

    Maybe that’s why they’re not keen on saying it’ll keep out debris, because it might not in all cases. 
    edited July 19
  • Reply 8 of 30
    I believe this is what is known as “the smoking pen”. 
    Not really. The only thing that's been proven about the prior generation keyboard designs is that they did require various types of repairs. That by itself is nothing. You need more than that to prove some sort of conspiracy on Apple's part.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 9 of 30
    seankillseankill Posts: 396member
    ireland said:
    Why is it so hard for Apple to be straight about this?
    This is why public companies are ultimately bad for humanity. The question is, at what point in future history does humanity collectively recognise this. To me, it's plainly obvious the real reason for the membrane is for dust.
    Because governments are very well known for being honest, fair, efficient with funds , and doing what is best for the long term. Give me a break. What’s the alternative to a public company? 

    I trust Apple more than most of the governments in the world and I don’t really trust Apple right now. My ATV stopped working for no reason. Decided against my plans to upgrade my MacBook. And will forgo the iPhone this year, breaking the 2 year schedule, after a battery replacement. Time to sit out and watch. 

    I do think the keyboard is concerning but it seems to be within acceptable limits. I just prefer the older version. 
    edited July 19 maltzandrewj5790Rayz2016
  • Reply 10 of 30
    nunzynunzy Posts: 525member
    This only affects a tiny percentage of MacBook.  The whole thing has just been blown up by haters.
    andrewj5790StrangeDays
  • Reply 11 of 30
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,767member
    I often wish Apple was not a publicly traded company.
    ireland
  • Reply 12 of 30
    nunzy said:
    This only affects a tiny percentage of MacBook.  The whole thing has just been blown up by haters.
    Not really.  A lot of Apple fans experienced problems with that generation of keyboards.  Most people consider them poorly designed... Apple sacrificed usability for aesthetics, and it seems to be a trend across product lines.

    If it was possible, I’d rather have MacOS on Dell/HP hardware (business hardware not the consumer crap).  Apple has done a great job on the iPhone & IPad and the OS in general, but they haven’t listened to their customers elsewhere.

    I do think Apple has learned some lessons in the latest generation of laptops, but they need to get their Apple branded processors in laptops and workstations ASAP.
    muthuk_vanalingamnunzy
  • Reply 13 of 30
    flydogflydog Posts: 81member
    If it appeared on a website somewhere then it MUST be true.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 14 of 30
    flydogflydog Posts: 81member
    nunzy said:
    This only affects a tiny percentage of MacBook.  The whole thing has just been blown up by haters.
    Not really.  A lot of Apple fans experienced problems with that generation of keyboards.  Most people consider them poorly designed... Apple sacrificed usability for aesthetics, and it seems to be a trend across product lines.

    If it was possible, I’d rather have MacOS on Dell/HP hardware (business hardware not the consumer crap).  Apple has done a great job on the iPhone & IPad and the OS in general, but they haven’t listened to their customers elsewhere.

    I do think Apple has learned some lessons in the latest generation of laptops, but they need to get their Apple branded processors in laptops and workstations ASAP.
    Guessing you have zero data substantiating that "a lot of Apple fans" that had issues with the keyboards and that "[m]ost people consider them poorly designed."
    andrewj5790pscooter63smiffy31
  • Reply 15 of 30
    Why is it so hard for Apple to be straight about this?
    Because Apple's legal department is very strong inside Apple. They are more worried about the legal implications than the moral ones. 

    If you have one of the MacBook pros with this problem and are worried about the repair not lasting, or have had the repair and the problem has returned, a consumers way around them, would be to ask to replace your computer instead of repairing it with the same technology that might break again after the obligatory 90 day warranty is up. 
    You can cite previous quality programs like the MB pro Nvidia video card failure where Apple
    replaced the logic board with the same generation logic board that failed to begin with. 
    Apple had many repeat repairs that, in some cases, the customer had to pay to have the repair repeated. 
    You can also cite how Apple did end up offering replacement computers when they were back logged with battery replacements for the 15" 2012 mbpro retinas last year. 

    Just remember to be civil when speaking with them and don't give up on your first "No" response. 
  • Reply 16 of 30
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,927member
    nunzy said:
    This only affects a tiny percentage of MacBook.  The whole thing has just been blown up by haters.
    Not really
    Got the numbers? Lots of people complaining on the internet doesn't really count because many of them complain more than once, and many of the don't actually own any Apple gear.
  • Reply 17 of 30
    foljsfoljs Posts: 285member
    Why is it so hard for Apple to be straight about this?
    Does anyone actually know whether Apple corporate has granular control over the wording of tech repair documents in every country? This is sort of a silly example, IMO. It's being treated like it's a statement from Apple corporate, and there's no real reason to think about it like that.
    Of course they have full control over the wording of tech repair documents in every country.
  • Reply 18 of 30
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 687member
    Why is it so hard for Apple to be straight about this?


    Lawsuits.
  • Reply 19 of 30
    smiffy31smiffy31 Posts: 167member
    flydog said:
    nunzy said:
    This only affects a tiny percentage of MacBook.  The whole thing has just been blown up by haters.
    Not really.  A lot of Apple fans experienced problems with that generation of keyboards.  Most people consider them poorly designed... Apple sacrificed usability for aesthetics, and it seems to be a trend across product lines.

    If it was possible, I’d rather have MacOS on Dell/HP hardware (business hardware not the consumer crap).  Apple has done a great job on the iPhone & IPad and the OS in general, but they haven’t listened to their customers elsewhere.

    I do think Apple has learned some lessons in the latest generation of laptops, but they need to get their Apple branded processors in laptops and workstations ASAP.
    Guessing you have zero data substantiating that "a lot of Apple fans" that had issues with the keyboards and that "[m]ost people consider them poorly designed."
    As for the third paragraph. I am forced to use dell at work. And there is no way their keyboards or any of the rest of the hardware is better I would give anything to be able tou use a Mac. Even with windows on it
  • Reply 20 of 30
    tipootipoo Posts: 908member
    'Member when PR directly denied there was a jamming fix when asked? 

    I 'member. 


    I get the legalese around it for admitting it publically for the class action, it's all so silly though. 
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