Apple’s hated butterfly keyboard could make a comeback

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Taking it out on your problematic MacBook butterfly keyboard will only make things worse.
The question is: does anyone want it to?
Photo illustration: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Despite it vanishing from Apple’s MacBook line, Apple hasn’t given up on its controversial (read: hated) butterfly keyboard design, claims Apple leaker L0vetodream.

In a Friday tweet, L0vetodream said that Apple is “trying to improve on the structure, and solve the [issues]” faced by users. Should it manage to do so, “we might see it comes back again in future.”

The rise and fall of the butterfly keyboard

Apple introduced the butterfly keyboard with its 2015 MacBook. It rolled it out to subsequent models released afterward. By replacing the traditional scissor-switch mechanism keyboard with the butterfly keyboard, Apple was able to make its laptops thinner than ever.

Unfortunately, they were extremely problematic. Keys regularly stopped working when debris or even just dust got trapped under them. After multiple complaints and even lawsuits, Apple started offering a Keyboard Service Program, fixing MacBooks with keyboard problems for free.

It eventually dropped the butterfly keyboard altogether, replacing it with the superior Magic Keyboard. The recent release of the redesigned 13-inch MacBook Pro officially made the butterfly keyboard extinct.

Or did it? L0vetodream’s tweet suggests that, fundamentally, Apple still thinks the idea is a solid one. The company never came out and said that the butterfly keyboard had been a disaster; it only moved forward with new models without it.

This is, of course, only a rumor. L0vetodream does not cite their sources when it comes to this rumor. But they have reported a number of previous Apple rumors — and had some of their messages supported by Apple leaker-of-the-moment Jon Prosser.

Personally, I didn’t experience issues with the butterfly keyboard stopping working properly. But I didn’t like the reduced travel of the slimmer keyboard. It felt more like tapping away at a touchscreen with reduced feedback. I’d rather have more travel on my keyboard and a slightly thicker laptop.

Not everyone is going to agree, though. Would you like to see a fixed version of the butterfly keyboard in a future MacBook? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.