Apple Agrees To $50 Million Settlement Over Those Terrible MacBook Keyboards

The butterfly keyboard was installed on MacBook laptops from 2015 to 2019.

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Apple has agreed to a $50 million settlement (via CNBC) on a class-action lawsuit filed over the butterfly keyboard, a feature on MacBook laptops from 2015 to 2019. In the lawsuit, claimants argued that Apple internally knew about the butterfly keyboard's flawed design.

The settlement fund, if approved by the judge, will be distributed to consumers in seven states--including California, New York, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Washington, and Michigan--who bought a laptop between 2015 to 2019, and had to replace butterfly keyboards or keycaps. There are three tiers of payouts.

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Group 1 covers claimants who bought a MacBook with a butterfly keyboard and had to replace the keyboard two or more times within four years after purchase. They'll be paid up to $395 per computer. Group 2 covers consumers who replaced the keyboard one time within four years after purchase, and who claim the replacement didn't fix the problem. Group 2 members will receive up to $125 per computer. Group 3 covers claimants who had to replace keycaps, and they will be awarded up to $50 per computer.

As is standard language in these situations, Apple did not acknowledge any wrongdoing in the court documents.

The butterfly keyboard was an unpopular feature due to its sensitivity to debris. Apple phased out the butterfly keyboard in 2019 and returned to a less prone-to-failure keyboard design. It did acknowledge users having issues with the butterfly keyboard and offered free keyboard repairs for affected computers. Going forward, Apple will continue to offer the service.

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