Apple hardware problems: iPad Pro users report stuttering screen, unresponsive keys

After the MacBook's butterfly-keyboard issues, Apple may have a new hardware problem on its hands.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

After apologizing for the MacBook's lingering butterfly keyboard problems, Apple is now facing a growing number of complaints about the soft keyboard and the screen on its premium iPad Pro tablets.  

MacRumors reports a recent uptick in complaints from owners of Apple's 2017 and 2018 iPad Pro tablets about the reliability of the pricey tablet's screen. 

Users on the MacRumors forum and the Apple Support communities forum are complaining about iPad Pro devices failing to register touches, stuttering when scrolling and missing key taps when typing. 

An owner of the $1,749 iPad Pro with 1TB of storage and 6GB of RAM running iOS 12.1.3 explained that the problems with the screen started a few weeks ago. 

"Screen freezes. Started cropping up just in the last few weeks, seems to be getting worse," wrote Codeseven on MacRumors' forum. 

"Reacts as though the screen was very dirty or my finger isn't contacting the screen completely."

Another owner of a brand-new 12.9-inch iPad Pro says certain keys on the device's soft keyboard aren't registering, in particular the 'o', which needed to be pressed several times before it registered in a program. 

SEE: Top 20 Apple keyboard shortcuts for business users (free PDF)

The user tried a factory reset, which didn't work, returned it to the Apple Store and received a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro. However, the new device was even worse. 

"Brought it home and this one is worse," wrote the iPad Pro owner, claiming the letters 'o' or 'k' needed to pressed at least five times before the keystroke would register. 

While the two threads include complaints dating back to mid-2018, the newer complaints mostly concern 2018 models. 

Hardware is hard: The tech products that fooled or failed us

Though unrelated to MacBook owners' dust and debris woes with the butterfly-switch keyboard, the iPad Pro is likely to raise questions among consumers about the quality of Apple's hardware of late, as the company channels more resources into its services business, which includes Apple News Plus, the games Arcade, Apple's original content Apple TV Plus service, and its own privacy-focused credit card. 

The company in late 2018 quietly launched two free service programs to fix an issue affecting iPhone X displays and 13-inch MacBook Pro laptops. 

Apple admitted the iPhone X sometimes doesn't respond to touch, while some 13-inch MacBook Pro (non Touch Bar) units had an issue that caused data loss and failure of the drive. 

More recently it's faced criticism over the flex display cable in the MacBook Pro, a problem Apple has not acknowledged but may have fixed, and complaints that the iPad Pro can be easily bent out of shape, which Apple described as "subtle deviation in flatness."

More on Apple hardware problems

Editorial standards