Analyst: Apple will soon ditch its butterfly keyboard design

An Apple analyst says a scissor switch replacement is on the way.

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MacFormat Magazine via Getty Images
MacFormat Magazine via Getty Images

After years of controversy and technical difficulties, Apple could be about to give up on the butterfly mechanism keyboard in its MacBooks. According to a report authored by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo -- who has a decent record in accurate Apple predictions -- the company is on track to release a refreshed MacBook Air later this year, this time with a keyboard design based on scissor switches.

Apple's butterfly keyboards have been troublesome from the get-go, and are well known to fail as a result of debris or overheating. Apple rolled out a worldwide repair program for 2015-and-later MacBooks, and subsequently updated the keyboard last year to include a thin silicone barrier behind each key to help thwart dust and crumbs. However, it was still prone to faults.

From a technical standpoint, this would be something of a step backwards. Butterfly keyboards are thinner and supposedly more durable than their scissor counterparts. However, these benefits are completely irrelevant if the device can't be used in the first place, so MacBook owners will undoubtedly welcome any move that will improve the usability of their expensive gear.

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