With its so-called butterfly keyboard, Apple wanted to make its MacBook even slimmer than it already was. In retrospect, however, the company will be annoyed that it ever made the decision to use the questionable and, above all, vulnerable keyboard mechanism. Now Apple will have to pay dearly for this. In order to settle a class action lawsuit filed by disappointed customers, the company has now had to pay a hefty sum of $50 million.
A bad decision
Apple is considered a tech company that has made groundbreaking decisions in its history. The best example is certainly the invention of the iPhone, which laid the foundation for all subsequent smartphones. But since everyone makes mistakes once in a while, the Californian company is not free of them either. A notorious example is the butterfly keyboard, which Apple is anything but proud of. The idea of the mechanism, which was installed in MacBooks between 2015 and 2019, sounded very good in theory. It was not only supposed to enable a slimmer design of the unibody case. On top of that, more stability of the individual keys was promised.
However, the good intentions resulted in many annoyed customers. Buyers complained that the keys were anything but resistant. Instead, they regularly jammed or sometimes even stopped working. Even the smallest crumbs or dust grains were enough to temporarily kill a key. It is therefore not surprising that the company no longer manufactures its latest MacBooks with the susceptible butterfly keyboard. But the poor design decision still haunts the company to this day. With a settlement costing Apple $50 million, however, that could be history.
Did they know about the Apple MacBook’s susceptibility to defects?
The tech company based in California became the addressee of a class action lawsuit, in which one raised serious allegations. Apple was accused of having put the questionable mechanism on the market against its better knowledge of the vulnerability. But not only that. Furthermore, the plaintiffs accuse Apple that the repair program worked more badly than right. The company offered buyers of a MacBook with a defective butterfly keyboard a free replacement of the keys. However, the new keys were also models with the questionable mechanism. Consequently, customers were quickly confronted with the problems of the mechanism even with the new keyboard. Some even had to send their MacBook in for repair several times.
Lucrative business for the lawyers
The negotiated sum of 50 million US dollars flows as a total sum to the plaintiffs. Each aggrieved customer will receive either $50, $125 or $395. For plaintiffs, who had to exchange individual keys of the butterfly keyboard, there is the smallest sum. On the other hand, those who had to have their keyboard replaced completely will receive 125 US dollars. Apple customers who had to have their Butterfly keyboard replaced several times will receive the maximum compensation of 395 US dollars.
However, the sum of 50 million US dollars is still provisional for Apple. Finally, it is not yet clear how high the lawyer’s fees will be as part of the class action lawsuit. Here, up to 15 million US dollars are possible, which should prove to be a lucrative business for the lawyers. Moreover, the settlement itself is still in a state of limbo. For the deal to take effect, the relevant judge must first rule on it and give his approval.
Exchange program is still happening
Of course, there are still many MacBooks with Butterfly keyboards in circulation. Accordingly, Apple is still offering its exchange program. This states that Apple customers whose MacBook purchase was no longer than four years ago are still entitled to a complete keyboard replacement. In a report from Reuters, one can read that Apple itself probably did not show any insight during the negotiation of the deal. Thus, even today, the tech company is not aware of any guilt. Just recently, Apple had to pay damages to buyers of the iPhone 4s due to its questionable update policy. Let’s just hope that the corporation will think more about “revolutions” in the MacBook in the future. Only recently it became known that Apple had filed a patent for a MacBook made of glass and with a virtual trackpad.