By Malcolm Owen
Monday, July 16, 2018, 5:12 am (8:12 am ET)
The third-generation Butterfly Switch keyboard from Apple is only used for the MacBook Pro 2018. Owners of earlier models can not receive the updated keyboard as a replacement within the company's service programs or as part of a repair.
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, will not be offered to owners of earlier models when brought in one Be an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider for maintenance.
Confirmed by Apple insider If Apple companies are not authorized to speak on behalf of the company, the earlier MacBook Pro devices will have the same keyboard design as before, not the new version. At this time, only the MacBook Pro 2018 will receive the new design when maintenance is required.
It is unclear why the keyboards can not be updated, but it is likely that the rest of the "capital letter" to which the keyboard is connected has some changes in the 2018 version that make it incompatible with earlier models.
There have been a number of instances where the butterfly key mechanism has caused keyboard problems for the MacBook Pro 2017 and 2018 as well as for the MacBook, including repeated characters, unresponsive keys, and other similar problems. The issues prompted Apple to launch a keyboard service program for the issue where affected users could get free service on their notebooks.
The lower volume of the new keyboard during input is due to the addition of a silicone membrane surrounding each butterfly mechanism. It is plausible that the membrane could help to prevent dust and dirt from interfering with the mechanism, with the smaller volume possibly being a side effect of its inclusion.
However, the membrane is not a perfect seal. There are gaps to allow the keyboard to be connected to the keyboard, and a larger one in the center of the cover.
Unlike the membrane, there does not seem to be any change in the mechanism itself. It remains to be seen whether the problems of 2016 and less in 2017 models will continue to manifest at the same rate or whether the membrane can prevent them.
The exclusivity of the new keyboard was first introduced by MacRumorsbut with later confirmation by Apple insiderown sources.