Apple settles Butterfly Keyboard lawsuit for $50 million!

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Apple just agreed to pay $50 million to settle a class action lawsuit over the controversial butterfly keyboard used in its MacBook laptops!

 

Apple Sued For Controversial Butterfly Keyboard!

Apple introduced the controversial butterfly keyboard mechanism to their MacBook laptops from 2015 to 2019, to make them slimmer.

The butterfly mechanism uses mirrored switches that expand like wings, unlike the typical scissor mechanism used in laptop keyboards which uses two interlocking switches that click together when the key is pressed.

While the butterfly mechanism made the keys thinner, they also made the keyboard prone to trapping dust and debris, resulting in sticky and/or easily broken keys.

Apple added a membrane to the butterfly mechanism, in an effort to make it quieter while keeping debris out; but it didn’t help. Small design changes in 2019 also did little to improve the keyboard.

The Wall Street Journal even printed a famous typo-ridden column to demonstrate the butterfly mechanism’s issues in 2019.

Two law firms – Girard Sharp LLP, and  Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith LLP – then bought on a class action lawsuit, claiming that Apple was aware of the problem but failed to rectify the problem and do enough in supporting customers who experienced the problem.

Apple settles Butterfly Keyboard lawsuit for $50 million!

 

Apple Settles Butterfly Keyboard Lawsuit For $50 million!

On July 18, 2022, Apple filed a $50 million settlement in San Jose, California, to settle the class action lawsuit over its butterfly keyboard.

If approved by a judge, the law firms can claim up to $15 million out of the $50 million settlement, for legal fees. Apple denied any wrongdoing, and did not offer any comments.

The rest of the settlement would be used to pay customers who bought a MacBook, MacBook Air, and most MacBook Pro laptops between 2015 and 2019 in seven US states :

  • California
  • Florida
  • Michigan
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Washington

Under the proposed settlement, customers who had issues with their butterfly keyboards in those states will receive :

  • up to $395, for those who had to replace multiple keyboards
  • $125 for those who had a single keyboard replacement
  • $50 for those who had to replace key caps

Apple dumped the butterfly keyboard for the more traditional scissor mechanism keyboard in 2019, with the introduction of the 16-inch MacBook Pro and the Magic Keyboard.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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