A US federal court this week gave final approval to the $50 million class-action settlement Apple came to last July resolving claims the company knew about and concealed the unreliable nature of keyboards on MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro computers released between 2015 and 2019. Per Reuters (via 9to5Mac), Judge Edward Davila on Thursday called the settlement involving Apple’s infamous “butterfly” keyboards “fair, adequate and reasonable.” Under the agreement, MacBook users impacted by the saga will receive settlements between $50 and $395. More than 86,000 claims for class member payments were made before the application deadline last March, Judge Davila wrote in his ruling.
Apple debuted the butterfly keyboard in 2015 with the 12-inch MacBook. At the time, former design chief Jony Ive boasted that the mechanism would allow the company to build ever-slimmer laptops without compromising on stability or typing feel. As Apple re-engineered more of its computers to incorporate the butterfly keyboard, Mac users found the design was susceptible to dust and other debris. The company introduced multiple revisions to make the mechanism more resilient before eventually returning to a more conventional keyboard design with the 16-inch MacBook Pro in late 2019.
Apple won’t have to admit wrongdoing as part of the settlement agreement. Before this week, some members of the class action lawsuit attempted to challenge the deal on the grounds that a proposed $125 payout for one group in the class was not enough, an appeal Judge Davila rejected. “The possibility that a better settlement may have been reached — or that the benefits provided under the settlement will not make class members ‘whole’ — are insufficient grounds to deny approval,” Davila wrote in his ruling. The judge also rejected a request for compensation from MacBook owners who experienced keyboard failures but did not get their computers serviced by Apple. There’s no word when claimants can expect their payment to be sent out, but the lawyers involved in the case said they “look forward to getting the money out to our clients.”