16-inch MacBook Pro to Swap Dreaded Butterfly For Scissor Keyboard

(Image credit: Future)

Apple plans to swap out the butterfly mechanism on its keyboards for a scissor one on its upcoming 16-inch MacBook Pro, a top Apple analyst told investors today.

MacRumors obtained a note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, which disclosed the details of the drift away from the butterfly keyboard Apple adopted for its 2015 MacBook.

"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.," wrote Kuo. "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 16mn units, respectively."

The butterfly keyboard has become a major point of concern over Apple's otherwise-beloved MacBooks. The failure-prone mechanism even led Apple to launch a keyboard repair program that covers all Macs with a butterfly keyboard.

Earlier this week, a report claimed that the 16-inch MacBook Pro in question will start at around $3,000 and arrive October 2019. That report also alleged that Apple would be releasing new 13-inch versions of its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. 

In its coverage of the MacRumors report, Laptop Mag pointed out that it would be "highly irregular for Apple to release two versions of the same laptop in the same year." Laptop also suggested that the "hotly-demanded keyboard refresh could have been a reason to necessitate such a change for Apple" Alas, Kuo's chart reveals that only the 16-inch MacBook Pro will feature the scissor keyboard, while all other models will forge on with the butterfly one.

If Kuo's insight proves true, Apple restricting the reliable scissor keyboard to only its new, high-end MacBook may deter those consumers on a tighter budget.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.