Apple Expected to Adopt Keyboard With Scissor Mechanism for Upcoming 16-inch MacBook Pro

Apple is planning to use a scissor mechanism rather than a butterfly mechanism for its upcoming 16-inch MacBook Pro, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors.

Kuo continues to believe the 16-inch MacBook Pro will come in the fourth quarter of 2019, and now, he says Apple will use the more durable scissor mechanism that he previously said would not be used in the MacBook Pro lineup until 2020.

16inchmacbookprorender

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. The refresh versions of other MacBook models in 2020 will change to adopt the scissor mechanism keyboard, too. We estimate that shipments of MacBook models that choose scissor mechanism keyboards will reach 400k, 10mn, and 16mnunits, respectively.

Kuo believes that after the 16-inch MacBook Pro launches, future Macs coming in 2020 will also swap over to a scissor mechanism rather than a butterfly mechanism, resulting in more durable keyboards that are not as prone to failure from heat, dust and other small particulates.

kuochartkeyboards

A chart from Kuo listing a launch timeline for new Macs with the scissor keyboard. Click to enlarge.

In a previous note, Kuo said that the scissor mechanism that Apple will use will improve the typing experience by offering longer key travel and better durability by adopting a glass fiber for a reinforced structure. A keyboard with a scissor mechanism will be thicker than the butterfly keyboard, but Kuo believes that most users won't be able to tell the difference.

Kuo says that Apple's higher requirements for the scissor keyboard will result in an average selling price of $25 to $30 for the keyboard component, higher than the general ASP of $8 to $12 for this kind of keyboard. Apple supplier Sunrex is expected to provide scissor-based keyboards for the company.

Apple switched over to a thinner keyboard with a butterfly mechanism in the 2015 MacBook, and has since used the same butterfly keyboard in all of its notebook refreshes.

The butterfly keyboard has been prone to failure, despite several design revisions. Apple's newest Mac notebooks use an updated third-generation butterfly keyboard that is supposed to cut down on failure rates with a membrane and new build materials, but Apple has not been able to solve the butterfly keyboard problem entirely.

Negative public opinion, multiple lawsuits, and ongoing issues with all keyboards in Mac notebooks released since 2015 have led Apple to launch a keyboard repair program that applies to all Macs with a butterfly keyboard, including 2019 models.

Apple will repair all butterfly keyboards that experience issues at no cost for four years from the Mac's original date of purchase, but the problem won't be fixed until Apple swaps over to a new keyboard design that's more durable.

Though Apple already refreshed the MacBook Pro in May and July with updated processors, a Touch Bar for the entry-level machines, and other improvements, rumors about a second refresh in 2019 continue to persist. Apple is said to be working on the aforementioned 16-inch MacBook Pro, which could perhaps launch as soon as September or October.

Along with a scissor keyboard mechanism, rumors have suggested the new 16-inch MacBook Pro will have a 3072 x 1920 display with slimmer bezels than the current MacBook Pro models. Kuo's note suggests that the new machine will perhaps be sold alongside existing 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro models going forward.

Related Roundup: 14 & 16" MacBook Pro
Related Forum: MacBook Pro

Top Rated Comments

MacFather Avatar
44 months ago
Deleted.
Score: 66 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yAak Avatar
44 months ago
Ah, the good old days:

Seriously, if they'd just replace FW and TB for TB3/USB-C and it'd be heaven right there.
We miss, you, MagSafe!
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Darth Tulhu Avatar
44 months ago
Bring back all the useful ports, while you're at it.

Ah, the good old days:

Seriously, if they'd just replace FW and TB for TB3/USB-C and it'd be heaven right there.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
longofest Avatar
44 months ago
Next can we bring back magsafe?
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
eatrains Avatar
44 months ago
The butterfly isn't inherently bad. The precision and stability of the 2016-era keyboard are great. They just need to be more reliable and have more travel. I hope they don't throw the baby out with the bathwater...
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Freida Avatar
44 months ago
Apple innovation failed. Back to the proven tech :)
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

Can't Get an iPhone 14 Pro? Here's Why You Should Wait for the iPhone 15 Ultra

Monday December 5, 2022 11:44 am PST by
Due to production issues at Apple supplier factories in China, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are backordered and basically out of stock at every store. If you were planning to gift or receive an iPhone 14 Pro model for the holidays and didn't already get one, you're basically out of luck because they're gone until late December. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more ...
Apple advanced security Advanced Data Protection screen Feature

FBI Calls End-to-End Encryption 'Deeply Concerning' as Privacy Groups Hail Apple's Advanced Data Protection as a Victory for Users

Thursday December 8, 2022 2:45 am PST by
Apple yesterday announced that end-to-end encryption is coming to even more sensitive types of iCloud data, including device backups, messages, photos, and more, meeting the longstanding demand of both users and privacy groups who have rallied for the company to take the significant step forward in user privacy. iCloud end-to-end encryption, or what Apple calls "Advanced Data Protection,"...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

iOS 16.2 for iPhone Launching This Month With These 8 New Features

Thursday December 1, 2022 8:44 am PST by
Apple plans to publicly release iOS 16.2 for the iPhone in mid-December, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The update remains in beta testing for now, with at least eight new features and changes already uncovered so far. iOS 16.2 introduces a number of new features, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets for Sleep and Medications, the ability to hide...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Apple Music Sing in iOS 16.2

Wednesday December 7, 2022 12:24 pm PST by
With the iOS 16.2 release candidate that came out today, Apple added the new Apple Music Sing feature that was announced earlier this week. We thought we'd check out the new karaoke feature to see how it works. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple Music Sing is available on modern iPhones and iPads, as well as the newest Apple TV 4K. It's built in to the Apple...
Apple car wheel icon feature yellow

Apple to Charge Under $100,000 for Apple Car, Launch Planned for 2026

Tuesday December 6, 2022 2:31 pm PST by
Apple is aiming to launch an Apple-branded consumer-oriented vehicle by 2026, and its goal is to hit a price point under $100,000 to make the car appeal to a wider range of customers, reports Bloomberg. Apple initially planned to design a car that might look similar to Canoo's Lifestyle Vehicle, where passengers could face one another in a limousine-style car with no steering wheel or...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

iOS 16.2 for iPhone Expected to Launch Next Week With These 12 New Features

Thursday December 8, 2022 7:05 am PST by
iOS 16.2 is expected to be released next week following nearly two months of beta testing. With last-minute additions like Apple Music Sing and Advanced Data Protection, the software update now has over a dozen new features for the iPhone. Below, we've recapped many of the new features coming with iOS 16.2, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets, the...
introducing apple music sing

Apple Music Adding a Karaoke Experience With Apple Music Sing

Tuesday December 6, 2022 7:09 am PST by
Apple today announced Apple Music Sing, a new feature in Apple Music that lets users sing their favorite songs with adjustable vocals and more. Apple Music Sing will utilize Apple Music's real-time lyrics to allow users to sing to their favorite songs using adjustable vocals, background vocals, and duet view to allow more than one singer.Apple Music Sing includes: Adjustable vocals: Users...
Twitter Feature

Twitter to Charge $11 Per Month for Twitter Blue on iPhone, $7 on Website

Wednesday December 7, 2022 6:47 pm PST by
Twitter plans to charge $11 per month for a Twitter Blue subscription on the iPhone in order to account for the 30 percent cut that Apple takes from in-app purchases, reports The Information. On the web, Twitter Blue will be priced at $7 per month. Prior to when Twitter Blue was paused, Twitter was charging $7.99 for a subscription, but the pricing will change before it relaunches. According ...
Apple advanced security Advanced Data Protection screen Feature

Apple Announces End-to-End Encryption Option for iCloud Photos, Notes, Backups, and More

Wednesday December 7, 2022 10:00 am PST by
Apple today announced it is expanding end-to-end encryption to many additional iCloud data categories on an opt-in basis for enhanced security. iCloud already protects 14 data categories using end-to-end encryption by default, including the Messages app when backups are disabled, passwords stored in iCloud Keychain, Health data, Apple Maps search history, Apple Card transactions, and more,...