Do you have a MacBook with a butterfly keyboard that needed repair? Well, you may be able to claim some money as part of a lawsuit settlement on behalf of the parties involved, where a California judge has now granted preliminary approval to that settlement.
Apple has had a number of controversies over its hardware (often labeled “this port” or “that port”), one of which was the MacBook models with the butterfly keyboard that was prone to failure and indeed needed to be replaced.
As noted by Macworld (opens in new tab)Apple’s $50 million settlement — and initially agreed to in July — allows $33 million to be distributed to MacBook Pro owners affected by the case, with amounts up to $395 payable to individuals who have suffered an allegation. (Much of the rest of the money went to the lawyers, as you might expect).
To qualify as a plaintiff, you must own a MacBook purchased between 2015 and 2019 — a model with the butterfly keyboard, of course, and that includes the vanilla MacBook, MacBook Air, and most MacBook Pro variants. Furthermore, the laptop must have been purchased in the US, in one of these states: California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Washington.
As mentioned, the maximum reimbursement is $395, which is given to those who had to have multiple keyboards replaced. People who replaced just one keyboard will receive $125, and those who had keycaps replaced will be eligible for a $50 payment.
Analysis: Replacing the keyboard was a thorny issue
It’s good to see Apple (finally) coming up with compensation in this matter, but keep in mind that the company has admitted no wrongdoing in settling this class action lawsuit. No doubt Apple just wants to draw a line under this episode and move on.
Part of the reason this problem has been so frustrating is that replacing the keyboard was far from a trivial matter, and other parts of the MacBook had to be taken out as well. Indeed, the entire upper case of the laptop had to be replaced, so the chassis, keyboard and battery; the whole lot.
Needless to say, that was an expensive operation, but Apple did set up a Keyboard Service Program to replace all affected keyboards for free (with multiple replacements possible – and those folks are the ones getting the biggest payout here, as noted). By the way, that’s what the web page is for Keyboard Service Program (opens in new tab) contains the full list of affected MacBook models.
The butterfly keyboard has gone through several revisions, but all of these keyboard decks have remained problematic in one way or another – even if they were improvements over previous incarnations – so Apple has thankfully finally abandoned the design as of 2020.
Through Creative Block (opens in new tab)