Apple might introduce new keyboards on the MacBook Pro this year, and will replace the problematic butterfly keyboard that affected users for years.

Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects Apple to introduce a new keyboard this year, one that will replace the butterfly keyboard the Cupertino tech giant has used on the MacBook in recent years. In a research note obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said Apple will introduce it with the upcoming 16-inch MacBook Pro expected to be released in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Updated prediction

Previously, Kuo said Apple will do away with the butterfly keyboard it used on the MacBook and MacBook Pro since 2015, and replace it with a new keyboard based on scissor switches.

At the time, Kuo said this new keyboard will be used on the MacBook Air expected to be released later this year, adding that Apple fans should not expect to see it on the MacBook Pro until 2020. Now, Kuo updated his prediction to say that Apple will launch the new keyboard first on the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

“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 said.

Kuo also believes that Apple will start using the new keyboard on other MacBook models in 2020, doing away with the butterfly keyboard for good.

“The refresh versions of other MacBook models in 2020 will change to adopt the scissor mechanism keyboard, too,” Kuo said.

The new keyboard

Kuo said the upcoming keyboard will be made of glass fiber. It will be a bit thicker than the butterfly keyboard, but he “thinks” users will not be able to tell the difference. This new keyboard will offer an improved “typing experience by offering longer key travel and durability by adopting glass fiber to reinforce the keys' structure.”

The analyst said that because of Apple’s higher requirements for the keyboard, it is likely to fetch a higher selling price. He said it might cost an average selling price of $25 to $30 per component, compared to the average selling price (ASP) of $8 to $12 for this kind of keyboard. Laptop keyboard maker Sunrex will supply Apple with the new keyboards.