Do you own a MacBook with butterfly keyboard in need of repair? Well, you can claim some money as part of a settlement on behalf of the affected parties, with a California judge now giving preliminary approval to that settlement.
Apple has had a number of controversies surrounding its hardware (often labeled as ‘this port’ or ‘that port’), and one of them is the MacBook models running with butterfly keyboard is prone to mistakes and really must be replaced.
As discovered by Mac World (opens in a new tab), the $50 million settlement made by Apple — and originally agreed in July — allows $33 million to be distributed to MacBook Pro owners experiencing this issue, up to up to $395 payable to individuals with a claim. (Most of the rest is spent on attorneys’ fees, as you might expect.)
To qualify as a claimant, you must own a MacBook purchased between 2015 and 2019 – the model with the aforementioned butterfly keyboard, of course, and that includes the vanilla MacBook, MacBook Airand most MacBook Pro variants. Furthermore, the laptop must be purchased in the United States, in one of the following states: California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Washington.
As mentioned, the maximum compensation of $395 will be awarded to those who need to replace multiple keyboards. Those who only replace one keyboard will receive $125, and for those who have to replace the keycap, they’ll have to line up for a $50 payment.
Analysis: Keyboard replacement is a conundrum
It’s good to see Apple (finally) standing up to the issue, but note that the company has not admitted any wrongdoing in settling this class action. Without a doubt, Apple just wanted to draw a line in this episode and move on.
Part of the reason this is so frustrating is that replacing the keyboard is not trivial and also involves taking out other parts of the MacBook. Indeed, the the entire upper case assembly of the laptop must replace, i.e. chassis, keyboard and battery; whole lot.
Needless to say, it’s an expensive operation, but Apple has initiated a Keyboard Service Program to replace any affected keyboards free of charge (many keyboards can be replaced – and those are the ones who will get the biggest payout here, as noted). Incidentally, the site for that Keyboard Service Program (opens in a new tab) contains a complete list of affected MacBook models.
The butterfly keyboard has undergone a number of revisions, but all of these keyboards still have issues in one respect or another – even if they are improvements over previous versions – so , thankfully, Apple eventually abandoned this design from 2020 onwards.
Through the creative block (opens in a new tab)