Apple offers two types of keyboards for their MacBooks. One is a Scissor Switch keyboard, and the other is referred to as the Butterfly keyboard.
In the scissor-switch mechanism, keyboards consist of two plastic pieces interlocked in the shape of a scissor, kind of like an X. They usually have silicone dome switches. For the Butterfly keyboards, keys work together like the wings of a butterfly.
The Butterfly keyboards were not very well received since they attracted a lot of gunk and first, which was hard to get rid of. All that vulnerability made the typing experience worse. They had terrible tactile feedback, poor travel, and weren’t good to type on.
Apple tried to block the entry of particles using membranes, but it didn’t work. Since their inception in 2015, Butterfly keyboards only lasted four years; until 2019. Apple also tried to offer free repairs and product recalls just to fix these poorly designed keyboards. Apple still offers free repairs if you have a faulty butterfly keyboard.
After 2019, all the MacBooks that were launched came with the arguably better scissor switch style. They use rubber domes and are more durable than before. They are a vast improvement from the discontinued Butterfly keyboards. The new scissor switch keyboards were well received, unlike the Butterfly ones, which were criticised left and right.
These MacBook models cover Keyboard Settlement
All the MacBook Pros and MacBook Air models that were released between 2015 and 2019 had Butterfly keyboards. The complete list of laptops with the Butterfly keyboard is below. It includes all models, regardless of the number of ports and the rest of the configurations.
- 12″ MacBook (2015, 2016, 2017)
- 13″ MacBook Air (2018, 2019)
- 13″ MacBook Pro (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
- 15″ MacBook Pro (2016, 2017, 2018)
Why was there a lawsuit?
Since people reported issues with sticky keys, repetitive keys and all the other issues mentioned before, clearly something was wrong with the keyboards on MacBooks from 2015 to 2019. A class action lawsuit was filed because of this. Those arguing against Apple claim that they knew about the problem and were unable to fix it.
Obviously, Apple denied all the allegations made. After a long back and forth, a settlement was finally reached. While the entire court case has not been closed, some MacBook owners are now eligible to collect funds from Apple, which they are using to settle this litigation.
Who is eligible to get money from the settlement?
It’s divided into three groups of people. People who received at least two Topcase Replacements from Apple or an Authorized Service Provider within four years of purchase belong to the first group. The condition is that your repair was unsuccessful. The deadline to collect your payout is 6th March 2023.
Group 1: If you are a member of Settlement Class Group 1, you will receive an email that notifies you that you’re eligible for automatic payment.
You’ll have to update or confirm your mailing address using the change of address form. You will receive a cheque at this address. Once the payment is received, you have given up the right to contribute anything to the court and are bound by the settlement Apple has made.
Group 2: People who obtained a single Topcase Replacement from Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider (within four years of purchase) belong to the second category. Again, there’s a condition that your repair was not successful. People in this group must submit a Claim Form proving that the repair failed.
If Apple has no record of your repair and purchase, additional proof might be asked. Submitting the claim form is the only way to get paid for people who belong to the second group. Like the first group, you will give up your rights in court and be bound by the Settlement if you agree to the payment.
Group 3: The third group is similar to the second. If you obtained one or more Keycap Replacements from Apple or an Authorized Service Provider (within four years), you would fall in the third category. Again, you will be paid only if the repairs performed cannot solve the keyboard problems.
The process to undergo is the same as the second group. You must submit a Claim Form with valid proof of repair and purchase to collect your payout. You will give up your rights to speak in court and be bound by the settlement. The deadline for groups 2 and 3 is the 6th of March, 2023.
You have the option to exclude yourself from the settlement and receive no payment at all. This will allow you to keep your rights, and you can bring other claims forward. The deadline to confirm opting out is 10th February 2023.
There’s also an option to attend a hearing in court or object to the settlement. You’ll have to write to the court for this by February 10th, 2023. You can object to the fairness of the settlement in this way. Note that if you do absolutely nothing, you will be bound by the settlement, still lose your rights, and be paid nothing unless you belong to group one.
MacBook Keyboard Settlement: Refund Amount
The amount of the payments is different for each group.
- People in the first group can receive between $300 and $395.
- Group 2 Settlement Class members will receive up to $125.
- Group 3 Settlement Class members will receive up to $50.
How to Claim for Keyboard Settlement?
- Head over to the Keyboard Settlement claim page.
- Enter your Unique ID and PIN (All eligible members will receive an email or postcard with a Unique ID and PIN).
- Click on the next page, and the system will pre-populate the claim form with the information in Apple’s records.
- Now declare that any pre-populated information is true and correct.
- You can visit here if you believe you are eligible for the settlement and have not yet received the Unique ID and PIN. You need to submit the serial number or other proof of purchase.
- Regarding the deadline for filing a claim, you must submit it by March 6, 2023. Your claim will be rejected if you fail to submit it by the required date.
This article will be updated with the latest information about this lawsuit and if any progress is made at the hearing. The website (www.keyboardsettlement.com) created for this lawsuit also has a dedicated FAQ section. You can visit the FAQ page here.