Apple's 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro keyboard expected to shift to scissor mechanism

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited July 25
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suspects that the 16-inch MacBook Pro will be the first Apple laptop to shift to a scissor mechanism, and away from the butterfly keyboard introduced in the MacBook in 2015.

2019 MacBook Pro
2019 MacBook Pro


In a note seen by AppleInsider, Kuo writes that manufacturer Sunrex will be used going forward for the mechanism, expected alongside the new MacBook Pro release in the fall. Kuo cites a "productivity experience" enhancement from the adoption of the scissor switches.

Furthermore, Kuo is predicting that the entire MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lines will migrate in 2020 to the technology.

TF Security-provided expected timeline for a keyboard switch shift
TF Security-provided expected timeline for a keyboard switch shift


It isn't clear what precisely Kuo is referring to when referring to the scissor switch keyboard. Where Apple's butterfly design is very specific in what it entails, a "scissor" design encompasses an entire range of designs, and key travels.

In a report issued on Monday, Apple's 16-inch MacBook Pro was again said to be a LCD model, running at 3072 pixels wide, by 1920. Assembly duties are said to be performed by Quanta and Foxconn. Should the new model have the same pixel density as the existing MacBook Pro, that suggests the screen is approximately a 16.4-inch display on the diagonal.

At present, it isn't clear if Monday's report was uniquely sourced, or a repeat of previous predictions by Ming-Chi Kuo or other venues. Monday's report suggests that the 16-inch MacBook Pro will come in starting at about NT$90000, over $3000.

In regards to the keyboard, Apple seems to be tackling the problems with the design head-on with changes to the 2019 models, but it's not clear yet what the changes are actually going to do. They've expanded their repair program to now include the 2019 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air and are actively touting the new keyboards as having improved reliability.

AppleInsider's own research has detailed the extent of the keyboard problem. If Apple really did improve the reliability in the 2019 then the number should fall even further.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,197member
    Either 16.4" or going back to the old style keyboard makes it a buy for me.
    jdiamondwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 46
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,945member
    Scissor beats paper, clearly, but how about a rock-based design? Surely nothing beats rock! 
    curtis hannahjdiamondviclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 46
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,989member
    Doesn't mater specifics of that scissor keyboard mechanism in upcoming Macbook Air/Pros but will definitely better, more reliable than current butterfly.
    jdiamondwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 46
    irelandireland Posts: 17,659member
    Let’s see the arguments now from apologists who say there’s nothing wrong with the butterfly design. Turns out key-travel and reliability matter to people. Sadly, Apple will use this as yet one more justification for price increase.
    edited July 25 sreechemengin1
  • Reply 5 of 46
    tjwolftjwolf Posts: 293member
    ireland said:
    Let’s see the arguments now from apologists who say there’s nothing wrong with the butterfly design. Turns out key-travel and reliability matter to people. Sadly, Apple will use this as yet one more justification for price increase.
    Price increase over what?  Apple currently isn't selling a 16" model, so there can't be a price increase.  There's a $1100 price difference between the cheapest 13" model and the least expensive 15" model.  So asking for $600 to go from the base 15" to a base 16" model seems reasonable.


    repressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 46
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,730member
    ireland said:
    Let’s see the arguments now from apologists who say there’s nothing wrong with the butterfly design. Turns out key-travel and reliability matter to people. Sadly, Apple will use this as yet one more justification for price increase.
    Well, to start with, they haven't done it yet. 

    Secondly, if they do, you'll just find something else to whine about. 

    My guess? Even if they change the keyboard mechanism, the travel won't increase.
    edited July 25 fastasleeprepressthistyler82watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 46
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 430member
    Just think, someone probably got a bonus for the butterfly design that has caused all of this.

    Sometimes the current technology is as good as it gets. Back before Apple screwed things up I do not recall an outcry for a new keyboard mechanism.  
  • Reply 8 of 46
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,173member
    ireland said:
    Let’s see the arguments now from apologists who say there’s nothing wrong with the butterfly design. Turns out key-travel and reliability matter to people. Sadly, Apple will use this as yet one more justification for price increase.
    There is nothing wrong with the butterfly design. I've had multiple butterfly KBs with zero issues, as have many other people I know. There isn't a shred of real evidence that they're less reliable. Do you have any? Anecdotally, it seems that way because the clickbait industry has pounced on this, and one blog/youtube video about a KB issue gets shared millions of times. Apple claims there is not a higher percentage coming in for repairs compared to the scissor models, and I believe them. They may very well switch mechanisms for this machine, but could be due to more of a PR thing, since "butterfly keyboard" is now connected with negatives, based on this massive exaggeration and clickbait industry. I'm faster with the butterfly design, and I find typing is more comfortable and requires less effort. 

    And no, the price "increase" will e due to a fact that this will be a completely different machine. Just like how there's a price "increase" between the 8 and the X, or the XR and the XS. If you don't like the pricing, Apple sells other laptop models.

    macplusplusxp17designrrepressthistyler82watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 46
    irelandireland Posts: 17,659member
    Rayz2016 said:
    ireland said:
    Let’s see the arguments now from apologists who say there’s nothing wrong with the butterfly design. Turns out key-travel and reliability matter to people. Sadly, Apple will use this as yet one more justification for price increase.
    Well, to start with, they haven't done it yet. 

    Secondly, if they do, you'll just find something else to whine about. 

    My guess? Even if they change the keyboard mechanism, the travel won't increase.
    In that case, yes, we will complain. Key-travel matters.
    chemengin1
  • Reply 10 of 46
    irelandireland Posts: 17,659member
    tjwolf said:
    ireland said:
    Let’s see the arguments now from apologists who say there’s nothing wrong with the butterfly design. Turns out key-travel and reliability matter to people. Sadly, Apple will use this as yet one more justification for price increase.
    Price increase over what?  Apple currently isn't selling a 16" model, so there can't be a price increase.
    For the other sizes, obviously.
  • Reply 11 of 46
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,197member
    ireland said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    ireland said:
    Let’s see the arguments now from apologists who say there’s nothing wrong with the butterfly design. Turns out key-travel and reliability matter to people. Sadly, Apple will use this as yet one more justification for price increase.
    Well, to start with, they haven't done it yet. 

    Secondly, if they do, you'll just find something else to whine about. 

    My guess? Even if they change the keyboard mechanism, the travel won't increase.
    In that case, yes, we will complain. Key-travel matters.
    I disagree  What matters is how the keyboard feels and functions. While key-travel is one method that we've long used for gauging the likabilty and utility of a keyboard, so was the tactile feel of the Home Button in iPhones, but I'd argue that the Taptic Engine not only recreates that feel better than the depressible Home Button, but now allows for adjusting the sensation and makes a component that could wear out from use more reliable.

    If Apple can find away to make the sensation of typing better without increased key travel then why not be happy with that?
    edited July 25 repressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 46
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 748member
    It is irrelevant if the scissor design is better. What matters is public perception. 
  • Reply 13 of 46
    robgnycrobgnyc Posts: 5member
    Now if they loose the silly touchbar we will be back close to where we were in 2015 (minus the additional very useful ports).
    edited July 25
  • Reply 14 of 46
    seankillseankill Posts: 481member
    slurpy said:
    ireland said:
    Let’s see the arguments now from apologists who say there’s nothing wrong with the butterfly design. Turns out key-travel and reliability matter to people. Sadly, Apple will use this as yet one more justification for price increase.
    There is nothing wrong with the butterfly design. I've had multiple butterfly KBs with zero issues, as have many other people I know. There isn't a shred of real evidence that they're less reliable. Do you have any? Anecdotally, it seems that way because the clickbait industry has pounced on this, and one blog/youtube video about a KB issue gets shared millions of times. Apple claims there is not a higher percentage coming in for repairs compared to the scissor models, and I believe them. They may very well switch mechanisms for this machine, but could be due to more of a PR thing, since "butterfly keyboard" is now connected with negatives, based on this massive exaggeration and clickbait industry. I'm faster with the butterfly design, and I find typing is more comfortable and requires less effort. 

    And no, the price "increase" will e due to a fact that this will be a completely different machine. Just like how there's a price "increase" between the 8 and the X, or the XR and the XS. If you don't like the pricing, Apple sells other laptop models.


    Actually, didn’t Apple produce data that showed any increase in issues? Or am I mistaken?

    Regardless, a keyboard that is as sensitive, as the butterfly appears to be, is crap. 

    This 16” MacBook is going to be pretty awesome though. Will be getting the 2nd or 3rd gen. 
    edited July 25
  • Reply 15 of 46
    goldenclawgoldenclaw Posts: 267member
    slurpy said:

    There is nothing wrong with the butterfly design. I've had multiple butterfly KBs with zero issues, as have many other people I know. There isn't a shred of real evidence that they're less reliable. Do you have any? Anecdotally
    What? Are you saying the butterfly keyboard repair program is fake news

    https://support.apple.com/keyboard-service-program-for-mac-notebooks
    edited July 25 80s_Apple_Guychemengin1gatorguy
  • Reply 16 of 46
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,789administrator
    seankill said:
    slurpy said:
    ireland said:
    Let’s see the arguments now from apologists who say there’s nothing wrong with the butterfly design. Turns out key-travel and reliability matter to people. Sadly, Apple will use this as yet one more justification for price increase.
    There is nothing wrong with the butterfly design. I've had multiple butterfly KBs with zero issues, as have many other people I know. There isn't a shred of real evidence that they're less reliable. Do you have any? Anecdotally, it seems that way because the clickbait industry has pounced on this, and one blog/youtube video about a KB issue gets shared millions of times. Apple claims there is not a higher percentage coming in for repairs compared to the scissor models, and I believe them. They may very well switch mechanisms for this machine, but could be due to more of a PR thing, since "butterfly keyboard" is now connected with negatives, based on this massive exaggeration and clickbait industry. I'm faster with the butterfly design, and I find typing is more comfortable and requires less effort. 

    And no, the price "increase" will e due to a fact that this will be a completely different machine. Just like how there's a price "increase" between the 8 and the X, or the XR and the XS. If you don't like the pricing, Apple sells other laptop models.


    Actually, didn’t Apple produce data that showed any increase in issues? Or am I mistaken?

    Regardless, a keyboard that is as sensitive, as the butterfly appears to be, is crap. 

    This 16” MacBook is going to be pretty awesome though. Will be getting the 2nd or 3rd gen. 
    No, but we did.

    The 2016 had the highest failure rate of all of the new design keyboards, about double the (low) rate as compared to the 2015 and earlier. We don't have enough data for the 3.5 from earlier this year to talk about it yet, but the second generation and the third generation were decreases from the 2016 rate.
    edited July 25 repressthischemengin1watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 46
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,888member
    Most probably there will be no discernible difference with the butterfly one, such as clickety-clack sound, neon lights all around the key in addition to the glyph shape, smaller key area and jumpy strokes... >:)
  • Reply 18 of 46
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,789administrator
    robgnyc said:
    Now if they loose the silly touchbar we will be back close to where we were in 2015 (minus the additional very useful ports).
    The Touch Bar is probably here to stay. Apple could have retained the Function Keys in the 2019 13-inch MBP refresh from a few weeks ago, but didn't.
    pscooter63repressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 46
    dwidwi Posts: 6member
    I much prefer the lower key travel. I find it hard to go back to older-style keyboards now, they feel like typewriters.
    edited July 25 fastasleepdesignrrepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 46
    henrybayhenrybay Posts: 105member
    I really hope this is true. 

    The Butterfly Keyboard is a flawed design, and not just a matter of preference. Here’s why. 

    Keyboard travel is like cushioning in a sports shoe. If there is insufficient depth of cushioning, the shoes will feel harsh to run in. Similarly, a lack of key travel makes typing feel like pounding your fingers on concrete. 

    This harshness can’t be fixed a adding softer membranes under the keys, because the problem is one of physics, not materials. 

    By compressing the key travel distance, as Apple has done, they have also compressed the keystroke duration to about 40 milliseconds - which causes the keys to ‘bottom out’ too early. This lack of travel is insufficient to allow a soft landing of the fingertips on the aluminium frame.  

    Sure, you could argue that you can get used to shallow keyboard travel - like you can get used to running shoes with no cushioning. But after you’ve run a few miles (or pounded out a few thousands words), the lack of cushioning takes its toll. 

    This is why it is so critical that Apple increases the amount of travel in the next generation of MacBook keyboards. 

    chemengin1
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