Apple To Pay $50 Million To Settle MacBook Keyboard Lawsuit

In 2015, Apple announced with some fanfare that some MacBook models would come with redesigned keys, or “butterfly” keys, that were made to fit in the shallower casings of the computers. The business stated that it reduced key thickness by 40% by swapping out the conventional scissor-based switches with a revolutionary “butterfly” mechanism. But issues arose. The butterfly keyboards were found to be susceptible to stickiness and general unresponsiveness in actual use. They might also become damaged by even minute amounts of dust or crumbs.

Customers filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple in the U.S. District Court of Northern California in San Jose, saying that the firm knew that its butterfly keys were prone to malfunction and concealed it. This was before Apple introduced a better keyboard design on late-2019 MacBooks. According to a Reuters filing, Apple put an end to the story by agreeing to pay $50 million to resolve the matter without pleading guilty.

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According to CNBC, if the preliminary agreement is granted, the customers’ attorneys anticipate maximum reimbursements of $300 to $395 for those who replaced several keyboards, $125 for those who changed only one keyboard, and $50 for those who replaced keycaps. The $50 million windfall can be claimed by the law firms Girard Sharp LLP and Chimicles Schwartz Kriner and Donaldson-Smith LLP for legal expenses up to a maximum of $15 million. Customers who purchased MacBook, MacBook Air, and the majority of MacBook Pro models in California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Washington between 2015 and 2019 are covered by the settlement.

In the years that followed the advent of the butterfly keyboards, Apple provided advice on how to clean clogged keys and introduced a service programme for owners whose keys had been harmed by debris. Between 2015 and 2019, the business made relatively little design modifications to the mechanism, with the exception of adding a membrane, which Apple advertised as a technique to quieten the keys without necessarily enhancing their dependability.

According to service data gathered by AppleInsider, compared to the previous scissor-based key design, the first generation of butterfly keys on MacBook Pro models were twice as likely to fail within the first year. Apple offered customers who purchased MacBooks with butterfly keys four years of free key repairs. However, the lawsuit states that the business frequently gave out replacement keyboards with the same issue.

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