Apple hairpin spring

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Apple hairpin spring
Switch type Clicky
Sense method Metal contacts
Switch mount PCB mount
Patents US4525613 (1984)

Apple hairpin spring is a low-profile, clicky spring designed and patented by Apple.


Terminals on either side of the switch are connected together when a flat, spiral spring is deflected downwards by the slider. A hairpin spring across the top of the switch provides the tactility and click sound. The patent provides a force curve, of unknown accuracy.

The case is fairly flat, and the switch is intended to be mounted directly onto the PCB. The slider is cruciform, of unknown dimensions.'s illustration shows white and yellow sliders; no reason for the yellow slider is known.

The manufacturer of the switch is not known. In Apple keyboards, the switch typically has a recessed Apple logo on the top, but the switch has also been found in a Rhino Robots Keyboard Emulator, PCB date 1989, with the Apple logo replaced with a hand-carved "G"; it looks like the switch OEM has altered the moulds by hand and run a fresh batch of switches, while Apple still retained the patent on the switch.[1]


  • Apple IIc (Apple branded)[2] (first couple of years of production)[3]
  • Rhino Robots Keyboard Emulator ("G" branded)[1]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Geekhack — Rhino Robotics - Keyboard Emulator (non-MX) Dated 2013-09-26. Retrieved 2015-07-23.
  2. (Wayback Machine) PC World — Anatomy of an Icon: Inside the Apple IIc (image 13) Archived 2013-10-26. Retrieved 2015-07-23.
  3. Deskthority — Convert Apple IIc to usb (post 12)