Rumors Insist Apple Will Ditch the Butterfly Mechanism in 2019

(Image credit: Remus Moise/Shutterstock)

Remember the boy who cried wolf? Well, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is close to becoming the man who cried "decent MacBook keyboard," with MacRumors reporting today that Kuo now believes Apple will ditch the butterfly mechanism in a 16-inch MacBook Pro debuting this year.

Kuo has repeatedly said that Apple plans to replace its butterfly mechanism this year. He originally expected the company to use a new scissor switch in the latest MacBook Air, but when that model was refreshed on July 9, it left the butterfly mechanism intact. Kuo had also claimed the MacBook Pro wouldn't get this new switch until 2020; now he believes it will arrive with the 16-inch MacBook Pro later this year.

"We have revised our prediction that the keyboard of the 16-inch MacBook Pro that will launch in 4Q19 will feature the scissor mechanism instead of the butterfly mechanism," Kuo's report said, according to MacRumors. "The refresh versions of other MacBook models in 2020 will change to adopt the scissor mechanism keyboard, too." That's essentially the opposite of what he initially predicted.

It's worth noting that Apple hasn't even officially announced a MacBook Pro with a 16-inch display. Kuo said in February that such a device was in the works, and IHS Markit reported the same in June, but there's no guarantee that Apple will actually release this device as described.

It's no secret that people want Apple keyboards to get a new switch type. Complaints about the butterfly mechanism have only increased since its debut in 2015, with Apple finally acknowledging the problem in June after several class-action lawsuits were filed, and it's at the point where even older MacBook models are desirable because their keyboards don't use the butterfly mechanism.

We'll probably continue to see rumors claiming that Apple will replace the butterfly mechanism until the company makes it a reality. Let's hope we still have the capacity to believe there's really a wolf--sorry, scissor switch--if that actually happens.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.