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Apple on Monday unveiled its highly anticipated 2019 Mac Pro refresh, as well as a new professional 6K display called the Pro Display XDR. It also announced a monitor stand that retails for $999. As you can imagine, Twitter had a bit of a field day with that.
The reactions didn’t just come from the internet, either. If you watched the keynote, you probably remember the audible murmurs and gasps among the crowd when the presenter announced the stand’s pricing. The presenter himself even seemed to fumble over his words a bit because of the reaction. (If you didn’t watch the keynote live, you can see and hear the reaction in the video below.)
Of course, there is an argument to be made that this is not a consumer-grade product. It’s not even a product that will be useful for most app developers, journalists or influencers — the kinds of people in attendance at that WWDC keynote. As Apple noted, some video, graphics or photo professionals pay upwards of $10,000 to $40,000 for reference monitors. Similarly, many of the people who will buy a Pro Display XDR likely already have VESA mounting systems in their studios.
It makes a lot more sense for Apple to sell the display as a standalone product than to package a monitor stand with it only for it to be discarded in favor of a pro’s existing setup. You could say that Apple is giving professionals a better option than to simply bundle the stand in the box and mark up the price for the display.
Of course, some people will still buy the Pro Stand because it has a few tricks up its sleeve. Not only does it offer tilt, height and rotation adjustment, it will also undoubtedly be built to Apple’s build quality standards. So it’s a stand that’s worthy of putting a $5,000 display on.
The Pro Display XDR is a pretty amazing piece of technology. It also has an extremely narrow focus. Paying $999 for a monitor stand — the same price as an iPhone XS — may seem ridiculous to most of us, but most of us are not the target demographic for this product.