Apple Reaches Settlement in U.S. Over Butterfly Keyboards

Jonathan Stempel, Reuters:

Apple Inc. agreed to pay $50 million to settle a class-action lawsuit by customers who claimed it knew and concealed that the “butterfly” keyboards on its MacBook laptop computers were prone to failure.

The proposed preliminary settlement was filed late Monday night in the federal court in San Jose, California, and requires a judge’s approval.

I skimmed this settlement last night immediately after its publication and it appears it will be open to anyone in the United States who bought a MacBook with a butterfly keyboard. Payout levels will be determined by the scale of repair required, up to a possible $395.

One of the particularly frustrating aspects of this lawsuit is the degree of redaction in documents and transcripts. There are filings where entire pages are effectively eliminated. That is not unusual, of course, but it is irritating for those of us who want to understand what happened with these keyboards. When the components that were changed between different models are treated as a corporate secret, it is unlikely we may ever know when Apple first found problems and why it took so long to fix them. Some documents offer tantalizing glimpses of this timeline, suggesting Apple found issues beginning early in the keyboard’s development, but there was no chance for the truth of that claim — or any other — to be proven in court.

A similar class action suit in Canada is ongoing.