Apple is set to replace the technology
underlying the keyboards found in its
MacBook Air and MacBook Pro computers,
according to a new report from Apple
analyst Ming-Chi Kuo i (via 9to5Mac ).

Kuo is frequently accurate in his predictions,
which are sourced from within Apple’s
supply chain and tend to provide an early
indication of forthcoming hardware changes.
In his latest report, Kuo says that the new
keyboard designs coming in brand new
MacBook Air models set to come out later
this year, and new MacBook Pro models
which he says won’t be available until 2020,
will drop the so-called ‘butterfly’ mechanism
design that is used in current-generation
versions of both MacBooks. Instead, the
new versions will employ ‘scissor switch’-
based keyboards, which is what Apple used
prior to introducing the ‘butterfly’
mechanism in 2015. Apple’s current
standalone Magic Keyboard also still uses
scissor switches.

The butterfly switch-based keyboards Apple
has used in recent MacBooks have received
consistent criticism from users, who report
dropped keystrokes and repeated
keystrokes, among other issues (I’ve
experienced this myself personally on
multiple MacBook Pro models since 2015).
These can often be resolved using
compressed air to blow away any debris
under the keyboard, but sometime they
require an actual replacement keyboard
component from Apple itself.

Apple’s most recent MacBook Pro,
introduced earlier this year, features a
redesigned butterfly keyboard that employs
“new materials” to help mitigate these
issues, and it also recently introduced a free
keyboard replacement program for
MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro
which extends to all MacBook models with
butterfly-based keyboards. Still, if this report
proves accurate, it looks like the company is
implementing a more permanent hardware
fix that would obviate the need for these
other measures entirely.

As always, take any rumors about
unreleased products from a third-party with
a hefty dose of skepticism, but Kuo’s
accuracy and the well-documented issues
with this keyboard design do lend credence
to this specific report.