Apple is offering to repair faulty MacBook keyboards, free of charge, after over a year of intense criticism.

The official announcement says three potential problems are covered:

  • Letters or characters repeat unexpectedly
  • Letters or characters do not appear
  • Key(s) feel “sticky” or do not respond in a consistent manner

The statement continues:

The type of service will be determined after the keyboard is examined and may involve the replacement of one or more keys or the whole keyboard.

All MacBooks made since 2015 and MacBook Pros made since 2016—all of which use the “Butterfly” switches in their keyboards—are eligable. Users with affected keyboards can take their MacBook to an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider to determine whether they are eligible. Users can alternatively mail their laptops to the Apple Repair Center.

So what’s going on? Well, in 2015 Apple switched to thin “Butterfly” switches for the both MacBook and Macbook Pro lines of laptops. This ultrathin design allowed Apple to make their laptops thinner than ever, but also seemed to trigger a flood of complaints about faulty keyboards, including one widely read Outline article by Casey Johnston and a song by Jonathan Mann.

Apple hasn’t officially acknowledged the problem until now, so far as we know, so this is a pretty big step. I can’t help but wonder how much bad press they could have avoided if they offered this in the first place.

Justin Pot Justin Pot
Justin Pot has been writing about technology for over a decade, with work appearing in Digital Trends, The Next Web, Lifehacker, MakeUseOf, and the Zapier Blog. He also runs the Hillsboro Signal, a volunteer-driven local news outlet he founded.
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