AppleInsider on MacBook Keyboard Reliability

Mike Wuerthele, reporting for AppleInsider:

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 — 11.8 percent.

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.

Update: I thought AppleInsider made this clear, but apparently not. These numbers come from a small number of Apple Stores and authorized repair shops where AppleInsider has sources who leaked these numbers. These are not the numbers for all MacBook Pros in those years. Not even close.

Monday, 30 April 2018