Editorial: Reporting about the MacBook Pro is failing at a faster rate than the butterfly ...

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 71
    correctionscorrections Posts: 1,372member

    elijahg said:
    I'm not entirely sure claiming the media "doesn't know what the problem is" is quite correct. Nor have I seen the media claiming "Apple [is] purposely creating or unnecessarily extending a problem." Care to reference the latter DED? And not a reference to one of your own articles on AI, that's not a primary source. If the media was claiming this, anyone with a sane mind would soon come to the conclusion that the report was wrong, because why would Apple create defective products on purpose only to offer free repairs later on at their own expense? I absolutely agree that on some issues such as bendgate the media claims problems are much worse than they appear. They were quite happy to jump on Samsung's Fold though when it died in a few days.
    The Galaxy Fold literally disintegrated in the real world within days of being shipped to influencers and shills, who then made excuses for it until it was no longer possible to do this without looking like complete assholes. Then they meekly criticized the company and said, "we love you Samsung, but no more of this please! What else do you have that's innovative?"

    That is not how the media is approaching this: new expensive laptops having sticking keys when you expose them to dirt. One is a phone you expect to carry all over, and which you'd assume this days would be water-resistant. Not many people would be surprised if they dunked their MacBook in the toilet, and then they found it didn't work anymore. It's a delicate machine. And some small percentage has an issue with the keyboard. No comparison is made over whether this % is within normal ranges of premium PC class devices, or if its freakishly high, like the Xboxs where +50% failed, or Google's Nexus 7 where the entire batch was broken before the end of the year. 
    In any case the keyboard isn't operating as it should, it's failing, and until recently, Apple was charging for repairs. That's all the media really needs to know to report that there's a problem. The media and indeed Samsung itself don't really seem to know why the Galaxy Fold screen is failing, doesn't mean they shouldn't report on it, or that their reports are wrong. In fact Apple themselves don't really seem to know what's wrong with the butterfly keyboard design, otherwise the attempted fixes thus far would have worked. And anecdotal evidence is that the fixes help, but don't solve the issue completely.
    The article isn't arguing that nobody should report that MacBooks have keyboard problems. 

    It's pretty clearly saying that a number of reports are portraying MacBooks as unreliable without citing any facts. If tremendous numbers of MacBooks were being returned for problems, that's a story. Apple has several times actually had to deal with things like that, such as when it was shipping PowerBooks with new Sony LiOn batteries that were catching on fire. Hugely embarrassing. I'm not seeing the data that would be everywhere if Apple were actually suffering through a bunch of very expensive repairs across a high percentage of users. It's profitability would be collapsing like a Sony. We'd know it.

    That's not the same thing as nonsense chatter among aging developers who love to talk about how they'd run Apple, insisting that it should be making the kinds of computers they are nostalgic about having used in the mid 2000s. 
    I got a new i9 27" iMac a few days ago and I really like the keyboard, but I was quite skeptical before. It appears to be the butterfly type, but seemingly with a tad more travel than the MacBooks. It is definitely noisier than the older scissor one, and feels more "notchy" which I like. I am still a bit concerned about it failing though.
    It's not a "butterfly type."

    The fact that you express worries like that has strong parallels with people who are whipped up to think that vaccines are more dangerous than the lethal diseases that were wiping out people just a few generations ago, and they're ready to sacrifice their kids than admit that maybe they're really worried about something that isn't even true. 
    fastasleepthtjony0
  • Reply 22 of 71
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,575member
    "the vast majority of MacBook customers are happy and haven't had issues with the keyboard," This statement can be true despite having a significant issue with the keyboard design. 

    The keyboard is a fundamental and critical part of a laptop so even a low problem rate is significant. The butterfly design compounds this issue with the fact that you can't pop a key off to clean underneath it and you can't easily replace the keyboard. End result - a crumb that gets under a key and would have been fixable by the user in the past now necessitates a major, several hundred dollar repair. Because of this, the butterfly keyboard actually needs to have a significantly lower failure rate to be 'equivalent' to the previous designs. The other factor that plays into people's perceptions with this is that Apple markets the MacBooks as premium, high end products. As such, people expect high end performance. 

    DED is right - if Apple is footing a $700 bill for each repair, they have a big incentive to fix any 
    problems. He's also right that design is an iterative process and there will be problems. As a consumer, I don't care about that, though. What I care about is whether my keyboard works. Historically, Apple virtually never makes any public admissions. The keyboard issue is no different. Because of this, we're all left to read between the lines, but the fact that Apple is extending warranty repairs on the keyboard and progressively modifying the design indicates that the problem is real on some level.

    Personally, I can categorically state that the keyboard on my 2017 MBP is more sensitive and susceptible to debris than any other keyboard I've used. I take far better care of it than any other keyboard I've used and yet it has given me more problems. Anecdote? yes, but that's my experience.
    n2itivguy
  • Reply 23 of 71

    Another long winded “editorial” that when you boil it down is nothing more than whining about media coverage of Apple.
    DED seems to oscillate between two frequencies: persecution and schadenfreude.  Either the world is being unfairly mean to 'the precious' or the enemies of 'the precious' are having troubles so let's celebrate.  
    And yet, the eternally butthurt continue to read them...and complain about having to read them. smh.

    Nah. DED is one of the few writers who gets Apple, and points out the wildly absurd general reporting. He is in small company, including PED, Horace, and the Macalope. These guys get it. The Verge and ex-Verge hacks of the world do not. But they sure do love clickbait, which is why they also report on Apple as often as possible, but in a negative light either due to ignorance or intention.
    Not sure why you chose my comment for your soapbox.  I've never complained about having to read a DED article.  Ever.  I actually kind of like reading them (probably for different reasons than you though).  I don't mind engaging those with opinions different from my own.  Maybe you're confusing disagreeing with his points with complaining about his articles.  Maybe you're just making a general complaint.  Who knows.  That group of writers you like... heh... okay, then.   
    elijahg
  • Reply 24 of 71
    correctionscorrections Posts: 1,372member

    xbit said:

    Unlike opinions, Apple's product plans are very data-driven.
    I'm sure that, in many ways, Apple's product plans are very data-driven. I'm not so sure that's entirely true for their Mac lineup though. From an outsiders perspective, parts of the line-up (Mac mini, Mac Pro) have been rudderless for long periods.

    Apple's low priority for focusing on Mac minis nobody wanted and Mac Pros--for a tiny market of really difficult customers who basically want you to enhance a PC without charging too much for the work--is pretty obvious when you see how much of its Macs sold are notebooks. That's where most of its money comes from, and the easiest to sell as a higher end notebook that people are willing to pay for. Nobody is clammoring for a fancy PC box. Fortunately it looks like Apple is now trying to deliver a great muscle mac experience just for fun. The iMac Pro isn't going to make a lot of money. But it is really cool looking.  
  • Reply 25 of 71
    prolineproline Posts: 194member
    My MacBook is on its third keyboard and each time the Apple Store took nearly two weeks for the repair. I’ve never had a problem with any other Apple keyboard. Ever. I’ve owned dozens. 

    Me thinks if DED actually owned one of these lemons he’d STFU. 
    MplsPRideOnTimeRayer80s_Apple_Guy
  • Reply 26 of 71
    correctionscorrections Posts: 1,372member

    arlor said:
    1. Is the keyboard a problem? Lots of people think so, and Apple has apologized and offered remedies for three generations now. 

    2. Does the media pay disproportionate attention to Apple's problems? They probably pay more attention to Apple's problems than to those of other companies, but Apple is by many measures the most successful consumer electronics company ever.*

    3. Does the media pay disproportionate attention to Apple's problems? They probably do, but a disproportionate share of reviewers and journalists as well as other opinion leaders use Apple products. 

    Numbers 2 and 3 are good problems to have, and they naturally result in more media attention to problems like 1. 

    * Also, the tu quoque defense is not a good look, and anyway I'm not fully convinced that Samsung's foldgate or exploding batteries got much less attention than Apple's problems. Exploding batteries are *still* the only product problem that results in a warning every time you get on a plane. 
    The problem isn't "disproportionate coverage." The issue is that Apple's issues that don't really matter are blown up into crisis, while full blown potentially lethal disasters are not really a big deal. You are literally saying somebody with a stuck key on a MacBook is compatible to having your plane grounded because somebody bought Samsung's phone they rushed out with a defective battery design that regularly burst into flames. Not the same thing. 

    Meanwhile, these same sources are cheerleading for Samsung and calling it innovative and saying hey where is Apple and why isn't it innovative? Adn all the while they're all mocking the notch before copying it. It's just embarrassing. 
  • Reply 27 of 71
    correctionscorrections Posts: 1,372member


    I fall into the first category. I never had a problem with Mac keyboards for 30 years, until I got my 2016 MacBook Pro. It’s annoying—the keyboard doubles some letters, especially the “B,” and then the software auto-corrects, sometimes well, sometimes terribly. But everything I’ve read has seemed to indicate that a replacement would take significant time (more than an hour or two) and perhaps just replace the keyboard with another just as prone to failure, so I haven’t done anything about it and have therefore not been included in any of the official statistics. 
    Yes, most people who have a stuck key on their keyboard just deal with it and don't expect that the vendor should be apologizing beyond just repairing the ultra delicate keyboard on a premium laptop. But back to the data: it shows over time Apple's machines have been getting more reliable. 
  • Reply 28 of 71
    I really appreciate the article on the keyboard issues. I learned my lesson and simply have no food around the laptop. 

    My only complaint is that the force required to type a letter is too small. Those of us who learned to type on (hold the laughter) on IBM Selectrics learned to rest our fingers on the keyboard. This is a hard habit to break and I often end up with extra letters due to the weight of my fingers on the keys. (K's in particular).

    That said, the present MacBook Pro keyboards are just fine and the problems are over stated. Just keep crap off the keyboard and clean the keyboard every few weeks. No problem.
    pscooter63
  • Reply 29 of 71
    correctionscorrections Posts: 1,372member

    Another long winded “editorial” that when you boil it down is nothing more than whining about media coverage of Apple.
    DED seems to oscillate between two frequencies: persecution and schadenfreude.  Either the world is being unfairly mean to 'the precious' or the enemies of 'the precious' are having troubles so let's celebrate.  My dude's opinions are about as nuanced as stop sign, and as predictable as day following night.  I think if he made an even half-hearted effort to separate his 'wheat' from his copious amounts of 'chaff' his points would have more clarity.  'Til then we get... well, stuff like this.

    Congratulations on being my most hateful fan. You are really insidious in your unbridled layering of insults with the same simplistic thickness that you accuse me of. Perhaps you're projecting?  
  • Reply 30 of 71
    stompystompy Posts: 336member
    swineone said:
    Count me in as someone who has the problem on a 2018 MacBook Pro, hasn't notified Apple, and in fact (compounded by a bunch of other things) will no longer be an Apple customer from now on -- this 2018 MacBook Pro will be the last Apple product I will have purchased. I'm sorry, but when I shell out $4000 for a computer, I fully expect not to need to service it a little after half a year. Will look at the competition from now on. Apple's insistence on this flawed keyboard cost me as their customer -- and of course, will also cost them in terms of iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, services, etc. sales. Oh, and did I mention my wife as well? And the dozens of people who I converted to Apple products and will be hearing only bad things about them from me from now on? The writing is on the wall -- Apple needs to change course and start listening to customers on certain key areas such as repairability, reliability, etc. or they''ll be dead in a decade at most. This coming from a former rabid Apple fanboy.
    I've never recommended this to anyone before, but you seem like a reasonable person.

    If you haven't already shared this with Apple leadership (Tim Cook and Johny Srouji), please do so: [email protected]

    No one here is can do anything but sympathize or criticize.
  • Reply 31 of 71
    Marco @ CSUSMarco @ CSUS Posts: 3unconfirmed, member
    To me the threshold for intolerance for Apple's poorly designed keyboard was when they posted an article on how to "fix" the problem: Every user should buy themselves a can of pressurized air so they can blow the dust off the keyboard and fix the sticking key issues. That's put me over the edge. Two keyboards later for my 2017 fully loaded macbook pro (4000.00+) and I am still being told to get a can of air.... you do the math.
    elijahg
  • Reply 32 of 71
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 989member
    This article brings out some very valid criticism of the news media extreme bias. 

    However, IMO the reality is this keyboard we a change for no good reason  
    Incorrect. Go back and watch the event video where Schiller introduced it. There is a good reason, such as being able to depress the key cap from the any portion, especially on the edge, and have it depress. You may not care personally, but it's a good reason.
    Because the entire scissor-using world beats on and on about how the keys don't work when you hit them off-centre... Hold on a minute, they do work when you hit them off centre. And so no one is complaining. Oops.
    Rayer80s_Apple_Guy
  • Reply 33 of 71
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,168member
    swineone said:
    Count me in as someone who has the problem on a 2018 MacBook Pro, hasn't notified Apple, and in fact (compounded by a bunch of other things) will no longer be an Apple customer from now on -- this 2018 MacBook Pro will be the last Apple product I will have purchased. I'm sorry, but when I shell out $4000 for a computer, I fully expect not to need to service it a little after half a year. Will look at the competition from now on. Apple's insistence on this flawed keyboard cost me as their customer -- and of course, will also cost them in terms of iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, services, etc. sales. Oh, and did I mention my wife as well? And the dozens of people who I converted to Apple products and will be hearing only bad things about them from me from now on? The writing is on the wall -- Apple needs to change course and start listening to customers on certain key areas such as repairability, reliability, etc. or they''ll be dead in a decade at most. This coming from a former rabid Apple fanboy.
    A bit histrionic wouldn’t you say? You seem to fancy your self an “influencer” who has decided to embark on a Jihad to damage Apple. Good luck, it’s been tried many times over the last 40 years or so. I’ve known more than few of your type. A tech god who gathers followers who wait on their word for what to buy. Now you intend to deploy your minions to trash the company you once revered.
    jdb8167roundaboutnowpscooter63jony0
  • Reply 34 of 71
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 989member

    Another long winded “editorial” that when you boil it down is nothing more than whining about media coverage of Apple.
    DED seems to oscillate between two frequencies: persecution and schadenfreude.  Either the world is being unfairly mean to 'the precious' or the enemies of 'the precious' are having troubles so let's celebrate.  
    And yet, the eternally butthurt continue to read them...and complain about having to read them. smh.

    Nah. DED is one of the few writers who gets Apple, and points out the wildly absurd general reporting. He is in small company, including PED, Horace, and the Macalope. These guys get it. The Verge and ex-Verge hacks of the world do not. But they sure do love clickbait, which is why they also report on Apple as often as possible, but in a negative light either due to ignorance or intention.
    Not sure why you chose my comment for your soapbox.  I've never complained about having to read a DED article.  Ever.  I actually kind of like reading them (probably for different reasons than you though).  I don't mind engaging those with opinions different from my own.  Maybe you're confusing disagreeing with his points with complaining about his articles.  Maybe you're just making a general complaint.  Who knows.  That group of writers you like... heh... okay, then.   
    StrangeDays attacks anyone who isn't 100% pro-Apple, doesn't matter what the subject is. There was something the other day he posted where he had no option to capitulate on Apple not being perfect, I almost fell off my chair.
    MplsP
  • Reply 35 of 71
    Doesn't matter in this case. The media is always wrong and is always misleading people, and it doesn't make the slightest bit of difference.

    What matters is reality. And here it is:

    With the MacBook keyboard from 2016 to present, users themselves are fully aware of the problem and most of them (not some, not many... most of them) have experienced the issues in one way or another. This is not some small issue that affects a limited group of people. This is an inherent design flaw that can and will affect every single user, depending on their usage. My lightly-used 2016 MacBook Pro has only just now started to show the first signs of these problems...but that's because its my secondary machine and doesn't get pounded 8 hours a day everyday like my iMac's keyboard.

    There is no pretending otherwise. Every single MacBook and MacBook Pro sold in last 3+ years is waiting for this issue to happen to it, if it hasn't already. Apple has tried no less than 4 times now to revise the keyboard design to mitigate the problem and has failed 3 times. Time will tell if the 4th time is a charm or not.
    RideOnTime
  • Reply 36 of 71

    Another long winded “editorial” that when you boil it down is nothing more than whining about media coverage of Apple.
    DED seems to oscillate between two frequencies: persecution and schadenfreude.  Either the world is being unfairly mean to 'the precious' or the enemies of 'the precious' are having troubles so let's celebrate.  My dude's opinions are about as nuanced as stop sign, and as predictable as day following night.  I think if he made an even half-hearted effort to separate his 'wheat' from his copious amounts of 'chaff' his points would have more clarity.  'Til then we get... well, stuff like this.

    Congratulations on being my most hateful fan. You are really insidious in your unbridled layering of insults with the same simplistic thickness that you accuse me of. Perhaps you're projecting?  
    Hateful? Bud, you severely over estimate your relevance.  At most you're mildly amusing and slightly annoying.  I am surprised at your level of extreme sensitivity though... and if I'm honest, a little disappointed.  With all the bravado you exhibit when answering comments with your own insults, I thought you had thicker skin.  If you can't take criticism, might I suggest you ignore the critic, or come up with better points that overcome the criticism.  I think you're much better off ignoring the critic in this case.  

    Perhaps I'm projecting?  Maybe, but I doubt it.  I know for a fact I'm not whiny though.  Can you make that claim?  Now, if you'd like a detante so that we can go back to discussing actual points of disagreement, I'd love that.  Or we can continue this pettiness. Not a good look for either of us.  I'd prefer discussing the points, but I'm fine either way.
    RideOnTimegatorguybigtdselijahgstompy
  • Reply 37 of 71
    bitmodbitmod Posts: 267member
    One has to wonder if Apple doesn't have a warehouse with billions of pre-fab butterfly mechanisms it's trying to get rid of - which is leading the decision to continue this failed design. 



    raybobigpics
  • Reply 38 of 71
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,155member
    This keyboard seems to be the case of something that was over engineered.
  • Reply 39 of 71


    I fall into the first category. I never had a problem with Mac keyboards for 30 years, until I got my 2016 MacBook Pro. It’s annoying—the keyboard doubles some letters, especially the “B,” and then the software auto-corrects, sometimes well, sometimes terribly. But everything I’ve read has seemed to indicate that a replacement would take significant time (more than an hour or two) and perhaps just replace the keyboard with another just as prone to failure, so I haven’t done anything about it and have therefore not been included in any of the official statistics. 
    Yes, most people who have a stuck key on their keyboard just deal with it and don't expect that the vendor should be apologizing beyond just repairing the ultra delicate keyboard on a premium laptop. But back to the data: it shows over time Apple's machines have been getting more reliable. 
    If "most people" (including myself) "just deal with it" instead of giving up their computer for weeks to have the keyboard replaced with one that's reportedly just as failure-prone, how useful can that data be?
    elijahg
  • Reply 40 of 71
    dblaney1dblaney1 Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    No amount of tweaking that apple does is gonna truly fix the butterfly keyboards. Its a flawed design. Even when it works it does not feel nice to type on and causes fatigue on the fingers as its not adequately cushioned when pressing down on keys. Whats more frustrating is that even after they realized how flawed these keyboards are they continued to roll them out to new products like the new Macbook Air. They need to seriously consider going for a thicker design for their "pro" laptops. They already offer a thin and ultralight laptop. They've made far too many compromises with the 2016 macbook pro redesign that aren't just limited to the keyboard. Repair-ability took a huge hit, the CPUs thermal throttle when doing anything taxing on the CPU or GPU. This is a huge issue for something they advertise as great for video editing. Exporting a video of any decent length will quickly cause the CPU to thermal throttle. They also need to seriously consider putting in some decent GPUs. The top of the line ones they put in barely compete with the gtx 1050. The competion has 1060s, 1070s, 1080s, and even rtx2080s which all run circles around the amd gpus they are using. We're talking 2-8 times faster in many cases depending on exactly which gpu they are using. I think its time that Jony Ive retires as he clearly has lost sight of what benefits the customer. This was totally apparent with the 2013 Mac Pro redesign which was completely inappropriate for what the intended market needed. A Mid Size standard tower that was a more reasonable size than the classic Mac Pro would have sold like hot cakes to the pro market. Instead many studios moved on to alternatives like HP and Dell workstations. I suspect they are gonna try to reinvent the wheel again with this new modular Mac Pro as well and we'll end up with a bunch of compromises that have pretty much no benefit to the consumer and only feed Jony's ego of making 'sleek' products. I genuinely feel bad for professionals that are locked into the Mac ecosystem as the hardware leaves a lot to be desired.
    edited May 22 MplsPAI_liasbennettvistaelijahgstompy
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