No joke — Apple is really selling a monitor stand for $1,000. Not the monitor itself. Not a computer. But the stand.
There was a collective horrified gasp when Apple announced it at its WWDC on June 3. John Ternus, the company's VP of hardware engineering, had just revealed the new Pro Display XDR, a top-of-the-line external monitor for Macs that goes up to 6K in resolution.
That things costs $4,999. It's incredibly expensive, of course, but fairly reasonable considering all the features it's got. But then Ternus announced one more thing — the Pro Display stand, which is a separate $999 purchase. The crowd, which was mostly raving about announcement after announcement, was audibly shocked, their murmurs filling the conference hall. Ternus even stammered because of the commotion.
Apple Pro Display XDR
Truth be told, the Pro Display XDR
stand seems nice. It's sleek, it's minimalist, and it's unmistakably, well — Apple. It tilts up to 25 degrees and holds everything firmly in place, and it can even turn the monitor all the way into portrait mode. The problem isn't that it's not a good product. It might very well be worth something — just not $1,000.
With that kind of money, a person can probably eke out enough for a second-hand MacBook Pro
. Or heck, even a new iPad Pro
. $1,000 for a svelte hunk of metal seems too much. As Engadget notes
, this is problematic because it continues a trend Apple has been doing recently: trying to upsell attractive tech that ultimately doesn't offer users much in the way of functionality.
The Price Of Premium
It's no secret that Apple is the "premium" option of the bunch. In some markets, iPhones
sell like crazy because there's this image of luxury attached to them. More than devices, they're often status symbols. That's not to say this is the sole reason people buy iPhones — not at all. They're sleek, expertly crafted machines that deliver both in terms of hardware and software. But it's clear Apple still capitalizes on this image of luxuriousness — it can sell a monitor stand for $1,000 because people aren't going to look at it and be surprised.
Will people buy it? Yes, most likely. After all, there were people who willingly burned $299 for Apple's Designed by Apple in California coffee table book. There are some, however, who will find the stand utterly ridiculous, including the gasping crowd during Apple's keynote. That doesn't mean they won't buy it, though.