Apple’s refreshed MacBook Pros were recently torn down by iFixit and it was revealed that the company had taken some steps to address the keyboard issues that have caused so many complaints. Apple is facing a class-action lawsuit because of these issues and has even launched a repair program. The new keyboard design has silicone barriers that protect the switches beneath.
Apple at first claimed that the membrane was to make the keyboard quieter but an internal document now reveals that they have been put there to prevent debris from gumming up the keyboard switches. Which makes sense.
The document mentions that the silicone membrane is there to protect the keyboard switches. Specifically the membrane helps “prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism.”
That document clearly mentions that there’s a “membrane under the keycaps to prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism. Be careful not to tear the membrane. A torn membrane will result in a top case replacement.” So that pretty much clears things up.
We don’t know why Apple is not outright saying that it has put the membrane there to prevent dust issues. Maybe it is too much of an admission that its previous keyboard had some flaws. Anyway, your next MacBook Pro’s keyboard will be well protected against debris very well.