Nathan and I work as system administrators for a large private school not far from Chicago. That means we monitor and work on hundreds of Macs and Windows PCs, Chromebooks and iPads, so we’re familiar with the standard issues that seem to infect them all.
What is the number one reported issue? It is not the Mac’s famous butterfly keyboard. Tops on the list are software problems, PCs that freeze, files that get lost, a device that gets dropped and doesn’t work as it did before the drop, and, well, not the MacBook’s infamous butterfly keyboard.
Software goes awry and hardware breaks; both for different reasons, but one thing is sure about the Mac’s keyboards. They work. Whenever one has decided not to work it seems to not work based upon some liquid that managed to find the keyboard, rather than the so-called butterfly keyboard design.
Just over four years ago Apple introduce a new MacBook with the aforementioned butterfly keyboard design. For better or worse, nearly every keyboard design differs from other keyboards. Personally, I like a little clatter and clackety clack on my keyboard, but nobody at the school batted an eye at the MacBook’s new keyboard design. Things change. The keyboard changed. But it was still a keyboard, it remains a keyboard even with recent improvements, and nobody has complained.
Except Apple critics and complainers.
Yes, Nathan and I are sure there are members of the faculty, or students, or staff who have keyboard preferences, but not one of them has grumbled about the butterfly keyboard design, and not one has walked in with a butterfly keyboard that stopped working properly.
What does that say?
Here’s the basic math that should rise above the growing crescendo of noise over Apple’s butterfly keyboard design problem. Out of 500 or so Mac notebooks, the vast majority of which use the butterfly keyboard design, not one has a problem that matches all the industry noise. This isn’t to say that butterfly keyboards don’t break. They do. We just don’t have enough math to call it a problem.
Apple sells about 20-million Macs every year, and 80-percent of those are Mac notebooks, and most of those sold in the past few years have the aforementioned butterfly keyboard design. Let me back it up just two years. 40-million Macs. 80-percent means 32-million Mac notebooks with the butterfly design.
If just one tenth of 1-percent have faulty butterfly keyboards then 32,000 Mac users have faulty keyboards. Is that a big number? It is if you’re the owner of a Mac notebook with a bad keyboard. It is if you’re dredging up negative information and writing nasty headlines about Apple. But is it?
Only Apple knows. Everything else regarding this massive keyboard design flaw is anecdotal. Since 2015’s initial butterfly keyboard launch, Apple has upgraded the design to improve reliability. Yet, critics call it a design flaw without any knowledge as to what percent of Mac notebooks with the flawed keyboard actually exist.
Apple won’t divulge the number or percentage of butterfly keyboard problems, but I will. Zero. Out of about 500 Mac notebooks with the butterfly keyboard design.
Is there really a Mac keyboard problem?
If your Mac notebook has a problem, then, yes. Otherwise, we don’t see much of a problem to support all the public noise from critics who loved Windows Vista, fawned over Samsung’s faulty Fold.
AI has been tracking Mac keyboard issues for years. The results?
Apple’s “small percentage of users” afflicted by the problem still adds up to tens of thousands of complaints and service calls, and this is a loud group, as it should be. This is then amplified by social media —which is the main reason why we collected the hard data in the first place, to see if there was actually an issue worth discussing.
If your Mac notebook has a keyboard problem, get it fixed. If not, don’t worry about it because it seems as if this so-called Keyboard-gate problem is more media-based than fact-based.