Apple may have finally changed back (or changed forward) to a more familiar keyboard mechanism in its new MacBook Pro but that doesn’t change the past one bit. It is also not enough, apparently, to save the company from having to fight a class-action suit hurled against it over its previous “butterfly” keyboards. It tried to get that case dismissed but was shot down, effectively giving the green light to move the case forward in court. That is if it isn’t settled out of it first.
Apple introduced a new kind of keyboard switch in the 2015 MacBooks. It was dubbed a butterfly because of how it resembled one and it was promised to be as pleasant on the outside as it was beautiful on the inside. This time, however, Apple’s famed Reality Distortion Field wasn’t enough to sway consumers’ minds, especially those that have to deal with broken keyboards.
The pretty switches, it turns out, were quite fragile to even the smallest amount of dust particles, not mention heavy use that laptop users are known for. For almost four years, Apple never backed down from its new technology, only offering repairs and replacement with a similar but slightly improved butterfly switch, one that had a protective membrane that was insufficient to really address all matters.
The class-action suit claims that Apple knew all about these and hid the facts from consumers. Worse than replacing broken keyboards with the same problematic one, the plaintiffs allege that Apple didn’t offer enough compensation, especially from out of warranty repairs. San Jose, California District Judge Edward Davila seems to agree that Apple will have to face its accusers.
Whether it actually reaches the court will depend on whether Apple chooses to settle the case before that happens. The butterfly keyboards have been giving the company not just headaches but even financial difficulties since the very beginning. It wouldn’t be a surprise if it decides to simply settle the matter and put it in the past once and for all.