Apple's $50 million settlement over the infamous butterfly keyboard moves forward

MacBook Air 2022 lifestyle photos
MacBook Air 2022 lifestyle photos (Image credit: Karen S. Freeman / iMore)

Apple's settlement to pay out $50 million over the Mac's infamous butterfly keyboard is moving forward.

As reported by Law360, a California federal judge has given preliminary approval for the settlement and how it has been structured. According to the Settlement Agreement, the plaintiff's counsel has "agreed to seek up to approximately $13,599,113 in attorneys’ fees and no more than $2,000,000 in litigation costs. The common settlement fund also includes a provision for $1,400,000 in settlement administration costs."

So, like any lawsuit, the lawyers are set up to be paid before anyone else.

The butterfly keyboard is long dead

Apple originally added the butterfly keyboard to its MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro lineups starting in 2015, and customers quickly started experiencing issues in droves.

Apple attempted to mitigate the issue by launching a free repair and replacement program for the faulty keyboards, but the company was simply replacing a broken butterfly keyboard with yet another butterfly keyboard, so many customers would just see their new keyboard break again.

That resulted in a class action lawsuit claiming that Apple was well aware of the faults in the butterfly keyboard and continued to sell Macs knowing that there was a faulty part.

Eventually, after years of attempting to improve the butterfly keyboard to fix the faults in the design, Apple gave up and switched back over to the scissor-switch design that the company had used beforehand. The company tried to pass it by, claiming that it was launching a completely new "Magic Keyboard" for the Macbook lineup, but it was really fixing the mistake it had made years earlier.

Perhaps the best criticism of the butterfly keyboard came from the Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern, who wrote an editorial piece using her broken keyboard. The entire piece, due to the faulty keyboard, was missing the letters E and R. You can check out that piece (and turn on the E's and R's if you wish, here.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.