Science

Apple knew its computers were "defective", sold them anyway, suit alleges

Apple knew its computers were

Tech giant Apple has filed for a patent on a dust-resistant butterfly switch keyboard back in 2016. This was first spotted by AppleInsider, which also has access to the lawsuit statement.

According to a news report by CNet, a class-action complaint was filed against Apple because of issues with the MacBook keyboard issues.

Apple's butterfly keyboard, comprised of the ultrathin keys on the MacBook and MacBook Pro, has the company staring down the barrel of a class action lawsuit in federal court. A recall of all MacBook Pros for keyboard replacement would be on a far grander scale. It says that after collecting service data for the first year of release for the 2014, 2015, and 2016 MacBook Pros, it concluded that - excluding Touch Bar failures - the 2016 MacBook Pro keyboard has been failing its users twice as often in the first year of use as the 2014 or 2015 MacBook Pro models. The suit seek damages, legal fees and demands Apple not only publicly disclose the keyboard design flaw, but pay to remedy or replace defective units.

Plaintiffs Zixuan Rao, of San Diego, Calif, and Kyle Barbaro, of Melrose, Mass, alleging that Apple's model year 2015 or later MacBooks and model year 2016 or later MacBook Pros are defective. "As numerous online consumer complaints describe, not long after consumers purchase the MacBook, their keyboard begins to suffer from a host of problems including keys sticking, keystrokes failing to register, keys typing a letter or command multiple times even though it was struck only once, and keys simply not working at all". Both laptops feature the company's butterfly keyboard mechanism, an ultra low-profile switch advertised as both more responsive and robust than traditional scissor-type components. This mechanism was meant to be more stable, comfortable as well as more responsive than the older scissor mechanism. Aside from that problem, Apple has generally been hostile to third-party repairs of devices. They also cite how these keyboards failing on them have resulted in trips to an Apple Store to get it fixed, and in the case of laptops out of warranty, costing them hundreds of dollars in the process. When Apple does agree to attempt a warranty fix, the repair remains only temporary-a purportedly repaired MacBook fails again from the same keyboard problems. It'll be very telling to see how Apple plans to address the keyboard in future MacBook designs.

Apple officially advises users with the affected MacBook models to blast their keyboards with compressed air.



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