Faulty MacBook Butterfly Keyboards Cost Apple $50 Million in Lawsuit Settlement

Apple will pay $50 million to settle a 2018 class-action lawsuit over the faulty butterfly keyboards that were used in MacBook machines between 2015 and 2019, reports Reuters. Customers in California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Washington claimed that Apple knew about the faulty butterfly mechanism and concealed it while continuing to sell computers with the keyboard.

macbook pro butterfly keyboard
MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and MacBook models adopted the butterfly keyboard across 2015 and 2016, with Apple touting the thinness of the keyboard and the superior key feel and stability. Not too long after the keyboards started launching, customers learned that they were prone to failure.

Thousands of customers ran into issues with keys repeating, sticking, and otherwise failing when dust and other particulates got into the butterfly mechanism, resulting in a huge controversy over the butterfly technology.

Apple ultimately launched a keyboard repair program in June 2018, but it only covered MacBook, MacBook Pro, and ‌MacBook Air‌ models for four years, and Apple would only replace butterfly keyboards with another butterfly keyboard, so some customers have run into repeat failures that are no longer covered. The lawsuit alleged that Apple's repair program was not sufficient.

scissorvsbutterfly
Apple tried to iterate on the butterfly mechanism to make it more durable and there were three generations of the butterfly keyboard, but all of them experienced issues. Apple ultimately started replacing butterfly keyboards with scissor switch keyboards, and phased out the last butterfly keyboard in 2020, and now all Mac models that are available use the more reliable scissor switch mechanism that predates the butterfly keys.

The lawsuit covers only customers in the above-mentioned states, and lawyers are expecting maximum payouts of $395 to customers who replaced multiple keyboards, $125 to people who replaced one keyboard, and $50 to people who replaced key caps. The settlement is preliminary and will need to be approved by the judge overseeing the case.

Top Rated Comments

ProfessionalFan Avatar
23 months ago
So they will each get $1.21 and some lawyers made millions. Cool
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MayaUser Avatar
23 months ago
Outstanding
Beautiful
Justice has been made
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Schizoid Avatar
23 months ago
As an nginr, I saw the words, "Stainlss stl dom" and immdiatly thought that was a bad ida!
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
23 months ago
Great news! Not surprised but the lawyers seem to take a big chunk of money. It should be the consumers that should get paid the most amount of $ since they are the ones that had to deal with the butterfly keyboard.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JPack Avatar
23 months ago
No sweat, just consider it the cost of keeping Jony Ive as Senior VP of Industrial Design.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
freedomlinux Avatar
23 months ago

$395 to customers who replaced multiple keyboards, $125 to people who replaced one keyboard
That is genuinely a bigger payout than I expected after hearing "class-action". EDIT "up to" $125, but still...

That said, I recall the Butterfly keyboard replacements were quite expensive because:
[LIST=1]
* Requires a top case replacement (good job on that "environment" thing, Apple!)
* Replacements had the same/similar problem anyway
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

iOS 18 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Friday April 12, 2024 11:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 is expected to be the "biggest" update in the iPhone's history. Below, we recap rumored features and changes for the iPhone. iOS 18 is rumored to include new generative AI features for Siri and many apps, and Apple plans to add RCS support to the Messages app for an improved texting experience between iPhones and Android devices. The update is also expected to introduce a more...
iGBA Feature

Game Boy Emulator for iPhone Now Available in App Store Following Rule Change [Removed]

Sunday April 14, 2024 8:06 am PDT by
A week after Apple updated its App Review Guidelines to permit retro game console emulators, a Game Boy emulator for the iPhone called iGBA has appeared in the App Store worldwide. The emulator is already one of the top free apps on the App Store charts. It was not entirely clear if Apple would allow emulators to work with all and any games, but iGBA is able to load any Game Boy ROMs that...
top stories 13apr2024

Top Stories: M4 Mac Roadmap Leaked, New iPads in Second Week of May, and More

Saturday April 13, 2024 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's hardware roadmap was in the news this week, with things hopefully firming up for a launch of updated iPad Pro and iPad Air models next month while we look ahead to the other iPad models and a full lineup of M4-based Macs arriving starting later this year. We also heard some fresh rumors about iOS 18, due to be unveiled at WWDC in a couple of months, while we took a look at how things ...
new best buy blue

Best Buy Opens Up Sitewide Sale With Record Low Prices on M3 MacBook Air, iPad, and Much More

Saturday April 13, 2024 7:41 am PDT by
Best Buy this weekend has a big sale on Apple MacBooks and iPads, including new all-time low prices on the M3 MacBook Air, alongside the best prices we've ever seen on MacBook Pro, iPad, and more. Some of these deals require a My Best Buy Plus or My Best Buy Total membership, which start at $49.99/year. In addition to exclusive access to select discounts, you'll get free 2-day shipping, an...
iGBA Feature

Apple Removes Game Boy Emulator iGBA From App Store Due to Spam and Copyright Violations

Sunday April 14, 2024 9:22 pm PDT by
Apple today said it removed Game Boy emulator iGBA from the App Store for violating the company's App Review Guidelines related to spam (section 4.3) and copyright (section 5.2), but it did not provide any specific details. iGBA was a copycat version of developer Riley Testut's open-source GBA4iOS app. The emulator rose to the top of the App Store charts following its release this weekend,...
iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

Apple's First AI Features in iOS 18 Reportedly Won't Use Cloud Servers

Sunday April 14, 2024 9:52 am PDT by
Apple's first set of new AI features planned for iOS 18 will not rely on cloud servers at all, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. "As the world awaits Apple's big AI unveiling on June 10, it looks like the initial wave of features will work entirely on device," said Gurman, in the Q&A section of his Power On newsletter today. "That means there's no cloud processing component to the...