Lawsuit over Apple's faulty MacBook butterfly keyboards gets class-action status in California

Lawsuit over Apple's faulty MacBook butterfly keyboards gets class-action status in California
Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
  • A judge approved a class-action lawsuit against Apple for the defective butterfly keyboards.
  • Since 2015, the butterfly design has been widely criticized for its "sticky" keys.
  • Apple discontinued the butterfly keyboard last year and replaced it with its Magic Keyboard.

    A California judge has approved a class-action lawsuit brought against Apple for the company's faulty MacBook keyboards known as the butterfly keyboard design.

    According to the suit, "Apple noticed that customers were returning the butterfly-equipped MacBook at a higher rate than predecessor products." The company began to modify the design to address customer concerns, but the butterfly keyboard was still used on MacBook models through 2019.

    Customers in California, New York, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Washington, or Michigan are eligible to join in the class-action suit. Qualifying products include:

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    • 2015 MacBook
    • 2016 MacBook, MacBook Pro
    • 2017 MacBook, MacBook Pro
    • 2018 MacBook Pro, MacBook Air
    • 2019 MacBook Pro, MacBook Air

    The class-action suit excludes those who own the 16-inch MacBook Pro released in November 2019.

    The butterfly keyboard design has been widely criticized by consumers since its launch in 2015. Customers have complained of having issues with the keys sticking together, the keyboard's inability to work when pressing certain keys, discomfort when using the slim design, and overall issues with the keyboard's ability to function properly.


    In 2018, John Gruber, a well-known Apple blogger, even went as far to call the keyboards the "worst products in Apple history."

    Apple initially told MacBook users to keep the keyboards clean with compressed air to address technical issues. However, in 2019 the company issued a formal apology for the trouble that its keyboards had been causing. Soon after, Apple began offering free repair services and issuing refunds for people who had been paying for the keyboards upkeep.

    In 2020, Apple discontinued the butterfly keyboard design and announced that its Magic Keyboard would be available across Apple's entire laptop lineup.

    In the press release announcing the new MacBook Pro last year, Tom Boger, Apple's senior director of Mac and iPad product marketing, called it "the best typing experience ever on a Mac notebook."