Apple to Pay $50 Million to Settle Butterfly Keyboard Lawsuit
A federal court judge in California has granted final approval to the $50 million settlement in the lawsuit over Apple’s problematic butterfly keyboard design, according to a report by Reuters. US District Court Judge Edward Davila denied an attempt to amend the agreement, confirming that 86,000 people have filed claims and will receive compensation for repair costs they incurred. This figure finally sheds light on the number of individuals affected by the faulty keyboard design who pursued the lawsuit and participated in the settlement reached in July of last year.
The original lawsuit emerged due to the flawed keyboard design featured in Apple laptops manufactured between 2015 and 2019. The new keyboard design proved insufficiently durable under normal usage conditions, with even minor debris such as crumbs, dirt, or accumulated dust causing keys to malfunction or become stuck. Casey Johnston, in a notable article for The Outline, famously expressed the sentiment that “The new MacBook keyboard is ruining my life.”
Despite Apple’s efforts to improve the keyboard through various iterations, the issue persisted until the company released the 16-inch MacBook Pro in 2019, which reverted to the reliable “scissor switch” design also found in Apple’s Magic Keyboard for desktops. A few months later, Apple completely phased out the problematic design from its products when it introduced a redesigned 13-inch MacBook Pro. While the settlement does not include an admission of wrongdoing by Apple, it will reimburse eligible individuals for repair costs, with some recipients receiving up to $395.
The recent development involved six objectors who raised concerns, arguing that the settlement was unfair to MacBook owners who had not repaired their malfunctioning keyboards (and therefore were not eligible for compensation), or that the $125 offered to those who had only paid for one keyboard replacement was inadequate to cover repair expenses. Judge Davila dismissed these objections, stating that a desire for more money alone was insufficient to withhold approval of the settlement.