Apple revealed there are nearly 100 million Apple Mac users in 2017.
For a market with 100+ million consumers, there are only a handful of mechanical keyboards compatible with Macs. And even fewer mechanical keyboards designed for Mac users; the Das keyboard is one of those rare finds.
When we first launched the Lofree Mac mechanical keyboard in 2017, we didn’t expect to receive such overwhelming responses. Our success was even hailed as a miracle by many keyboard enthusiasts on Massdrop. However, this just signifies that there is a demand for Mac mechanical keyboards.
Mechanical and membrane keyboards differ in their key switches. While membrane keys make less noise, mechanical switches accentuates the audible clicks and springy tactile feedback.
In order to understand why there is a lack of Mac mechanical keyboard, we contacted a popular keyboard enthusiast and media expert to get their point of views.
We had to chance to interview Brannan Darmawi-Iskandar, the man behind the highly active kbwarriors Instagram account dedicated to showcasing various mechanical keyboards and the culture surrounding it.
An example of keyboard enthusiasts. Credit@pr0d428
Brannan has been running his growing kbwarriors for 3 years now. He is currently the owner of 23 mechanical keyboards, but a tester of over 100 mechanical keyboards(OMG!). Fun fact: he uses our Lofree Dot keyboard when working with multiple devices to easily switch between them.
When we asked Brannan about the lack of Mac mechanical keyboards, he explained how gamers currently make up the largest portion of mechanical keyboard users and Mac OS simply doesn’t have a big gaming crowd to warrant dedicated Mac OS mechanical keyboards. He too was a gamer looking for a more comfortable gaming experience when he first switched to a mechanical keyboard.
One of the Lofree keyboard that Branna is using. Credit @kbwarriors
Though the initial reason was for gaming, Brannan has since discovered a myriad of benefits. Since he put it the best, this is his original response:
”Mechanical keyboards are flexible. They can be programmed and built to consumers needs, unlike the run of the mill membrane/rubber dome keyboard. They also provide reliability in the form of replaceable and repairable switches that will last upwards of 50 million keystrokes. In short, a well built and well kept mechanical keyboard should last you a lifetime.”
Ben Sin, on the other hand is far from a gamer. He is a tech writer for Forbes. His initial introduction to mechanical keyboards was not due to gaming, but a health issue. As a writer, Ben spends hours typing away at the desk. After a few extensive writing sessions, he started experiencing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and shifted to mechanical keyboards as a preventative measure.
As a tech insider, Ben had a different opinion about the lack of Mac mechanical keyboard on the market. When asked what his thoughts were, Ben told us:
“I think because Apple fans are loyal to Apple's ecosystem, so they tend to buy first party Apple products” He also adds, “if they're using a Macbook, then the Macbook already has a keyboard. If they are using iMacs, then they will buy an Apple keyboard.”
We also asked what Ben thinks is a fair price for a high quality mechanical keyboard. “I think a good price range for a great "premium" one is in the $100-150 range.”
As Brannan previously stated, a good mechanical keyboard can quite possibly last you a lifetime. So, it’s very practical to invest in a good one rather than purchasing a cheaper lower end one that will need to be replaced in the future.
The fandom surrounding the Apple brand is clearly evident and their fans are fiercely loyal, but we do want to note that Apple currently does not offer a Mac mechanical keyboard in their product line. So then, where can Apple users turn to if they do want a mechanical keyboard?
A Google Trends search result of “mechanical keyboard”
With a quick Google trends search, you can easily see the rising popularity of mechanical keyboards. Despite the growing trend and the buying force Apple consumers hold, the number of Mac mechanical keyboards available are still limited. At Lofree, our goal is to fill this gap by creating high quality mechanical keyboards for the Apple user.