All data has been collected from assorted Apple Genius Bars in the
U.S. that we have been working with for several years, as well as
Apple-authorized third-party repair shops.
The 2014 MacBook Pro model year saw 2120 service events in the
first year, with 118 related to keyboard issues necessitating an
upper case replacement — 5.6 percent of all MacBook Pros serviced
in the first year. The 2015 has 1904 service tickets, with 114
relating to the keyboard, making 6.0 percent. […]
Apple released the new keyboard with the MacBook, and moved the
design to the 2016 MacBook Pro. In the first year of the 2016
MacBook Pro, our data gathered 1402 warranty events, with 165
related to only the keyboard and not including the Touch Bar —
We don’t have a full year of data for the 2017 MacBook Pro yet.
But, since release in June 2017, our data set has 1161 captured
service events with 94 related to keyboard issues also not
including any Touch Bar issues — 8.1 percent.
Kudos to AppleInsider for doing the research for this. But they seem to be drawing the wrong conclusion from their data. They haven’t shown that keyboards are twice as likely to fail, but that when a 2016 MacBook Pro needs warranty service, it’s twice as likely to be for the keyboard as from previous models. And the number for 2017 models is about halfway between. 2016 seemed like a bad year, but the 2017 numbers are only slightly higher.