Wednesday, 23 May, 2018

Apple faces class action over MacBook keyboard

Apple's getting sued by MacBook owners over keyboard failures Apple hit with class action lawsuit over the faulty keyboard design of its MacBook and MacBook Pros
Sandra Phillips | 14 May, 2018, 18:22

Unfortunately for Apple, the curious case of the failing MacBook Pro and MacBook keyboards is refusing to go away. The lawsuit further asks for damages and refunds for users who have had to replace their MacBooks's keyboard.

A class action lawsuit filed in federal court on Friday takes Apple to task over an allegedly flawed keyboard design deployed in MacBook models from 2015, claiming the company knew about the defect at or before the product's launch. As per the claims of the lawsuit, the design of the keyboard is such that even small amounts of dust or debris that creep under the keyboard can render the keys non-responsive.

As typing is the console's essential contribution for the laptops, the offended parties contend that when a keys wind up stuck on the MacBook or MacBook Pro the machines, which cost upwards of £1,249, move toward becoming "unsuitable for its ordinary and intended use". "When the MacBook's butterfly keyboard fails, the keys stick and no longer register keystrokes". The number of people who signed this petition, which refers to, among others, the designer John Gruber, who called the keyboard "one of the biggest design mistakes in Apple's history", continues to grow, fueled by the news about the lawsuit.

Apple first featured the butterfly keyboard design with its 12-inch MacBook, launched in 2015. "In fact it is four times more stable than that scissor mechanism".

On its website, Apple describes the keyboard's internal mechanism (known as "butterfly") as offering "greater comfort and responsiveness" than prior models' "scissor" functionality. The keyboard was advertised as being more responsive and comfortable than its previous iteration. Unlike other laptops for professionals, such as the ThinkPad (which had a butterfly keyboard of a different sort), the entire keyboard is bonded with the top case, requiring full replacement.

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Sending the device back to Apple for warranty repairs only temporarily fixes the problem.

According to the lawsuit document, there are have been "thousands" of users who have been inconvenienced by this ongoing problem.

"Apple knew that the MacBook is defective at or before the time it began selling the affected models to the public", the court filing stated. For customers outside of the warranty period, Apple denies warranty service, and directs consumers to engage in paid repairs, which costs between $400 and $700.

Apple hasn't said anything publicly about the issue yet, although it has internally suggested methods like using a can of compressed air to clean the keyboard.

Apple's tech support staff have attributed faulty keys to pieces of dust somehow stuck under keys and causing them to jam, The Outline previously reported.

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