Your sardonic source for consumer tech stories

This article was published on March 23, 2021


Apple deserves to get battered by the butterfly keyboard lawsuit

Shit actions require shit consequences

Apple deserves to get battered by the butterfly keyboard lawsuit
Callum Booth
Story by

Callum Booth

Editor of Plugged by TNW

Callum is an Englishman in Amsterdam, but not in the way you're thinking. He's the Editor of Plugged, TNW's consumer tech vertical. He w Callum is an Englishman in Amsterdam, but not in the way you're thinking. He's the Editor of Plugged, TNW's consumer tech vertical. He writes about gear, gadgets, and apps — with a particular focus on Apple — and also makes the occasional odd video. Basically, he's halfway between an abrasive gadget nerd and thinky art boy.

Hey Siri, what’s terrible for Apple, but good for consumers? What’s that? A judge certifying a class action lawsuit against the company for its infamous ‘butterfly keyboard?’ Ohhh, you saucy thing.

The butterfly keyboard lawsuit isn’t new (it was filed back in 2018), but this latest news means the case gets closer to actually making a difference.

Unfortunately, the certification of this as a class action lawsuit won’t impact everyone. According to The Verge (and the case documents) the butterfly keyboard lawsuit will only cover those who purchased one in seven states (California, New York, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Washington, and Michigan, if you’re interested).

The main thrust of the butterfly keyboard lawsuit is that the company knew the mechanism was a pile of crap, and yet continued to sell it. Amusingly, the case also quotes an Apple executive who had this to say about the butterfly keyboard:

apple butterfly keyboard lawsuit
Yep, it says fixing the butterfly keyboard is akin to putting lipstick on swine.

Apple attempted to argue that this shouldn’t be a single lawsuit, due to all the modifications it made to the hardware (like this sexy membrane). This got DENIED though, as the plaintiffs (AKA the folks filing the butterfly keyboard lawsuit) successfully argued that there were inherent problems with the butterfly keyboard that the tweaks didn’t fix.

Effectively, they state Apple did nothing to fix “tight spaces between the keys, [or] the low-travel aspect of the design” with the modifications.

So what happens next? Basically law stuff. The case will trundle on and Apple will do its best to weasel out of doing anything. But you know what?

I hope Apple gets battered by the butterfly keyboard lawsuit

Long story short, Apple’s actions regarding the butterfly keyboard were reprehensible.

It was clear to anyone and everyone that the hardware was faulty, but instead of actually fixing it, the company just flung shit at the wall and hoped that plugged the gaps.

When Apple finally discontinued the butterfly keyboard, I wrote a piece saying the company should reimburse everyone who had one of the machines. I still believe that.

The company literally provided defective machines to consumers for five yearsIn a best case scenario, that’s negligence. In the worst, that shows a malicious disregard for the people using those laptops.

Of course though, Apple did nothing to fix the mess it made. And if it takes the butterfly keyboard lawsuit for it to finally pay its dues? Good. I hope Apple gets taken to the cleaners and users get the justice they deserve.

Did you know we have a newsletter all about consumer tech? It’s called Plugged In – and you can subscribe to it right here.

Also tagged with