But this design element ended up making the keyboards prone to trapping dust and debris. Customers have long complained about the apparent faultiness of the keyboards and its sticky or easily-broken keys. An intentionally typo-ridden Wall Street Journal column in 2019 famously slammed the keyboards’ flaws, and an influential tech blogger called the keyboards the “worst products in Apple history” that same year. Under the proposed settlement, customers who had to replace multiple keyboards can expect payouts up to $395 and those who had a single keyboard replaced can expect around $125, according to the filing. Customers who had obtained key cap replacements can expect a $50 payout.
Customers who claimed to have encountered problems with the so-called “butterfly” keyboards that have been a standard feature on some MacBook laptops for years have filed a class action complaint against Apple, and Apple has agreed to pay $50 million to resolve it. The proposed settlement was mentioned in court records submitted on Monday in San Jose, California, which still need the judge’s approval. The widely criticised keyboards, seen on MacBooks from 2015 to 2019, were originally designed to help notebooks become more compact. Apple’s butterfly keyboard design uses mirrored switches that spread out like wings as opposed to the “scissor mechanism” used by other laptop keyboards, which involves two interlocking switches that click together when a key is pushed.
Apple did not immediately respond to CNN Business’ request for comment Tuesday. As part of the settlement agreement, Apple denied any wrongdoing and denied that any MacBooks are defective.
Over the years, Apple has proposed various fixes and redesigns for the “butterfly” keyboard. In 2019, Apple reverted back to the more traditional scissor-style keyboard.