You can pinpoint the exact moment when Apple lost the WWDC audience on Monday. John Ternus, the company’s VP of hardware engineering, had just revealed that the Pro Display XDR, its new high-end 6K monitor, will cost $4,999. That’s pricey, but reasonable considering all of the features it offers. But then there was one more thing, and not the good kind. One hour, forty two minutes and five seconds into the keynote stream, he revealed that the Pro Display’s stand is a separate $999 purchase. The crowd, which was mostly enthusiastic until then, erupted into cautious murmurs — enough to make Ternus stammer as he continued on. He was completely unprepared for the Apple faithful to question the glorious technology being bestowed upon them.
Here’s the thing: The Pro Display XDR stand seems nice. It has the sort of elegant modernist design you’d expect from Apple; it can smoothly tilt up to 25 degrees, while also holding everything firmly in place; and it can even be nudged into portrait mode. But is it worth $999? Unlikely. From my perspective, as someone who spends way too much time thinking about the relative value of electronics, it seems like a raw deal. And it continues a trend we’re seeing from Apple recently: trying to upsell attractive tech that ultimately doesn’t do much for users.
At $5,000, Apple’s new Pro Display XDR definitely ain’t cheap, but with a 32-inch screen, 6K resolution, full HDR support (with a ridiculous peak brightness of 1600 nits), and color reproduction that some are claiming is better than OLED, you can sort of see where all that money is going.
But then Apple continued to strike fear into bank accounts everywhere when it announced that the stand for the Pro Display XDR would cost another $1,000 on top of that. I repeat: That’s another grand just for a monitor stand.
That said, I suppose none of this really matters, because the new $6,000 Mac Pro, $5,000 Pro Display XDR, and $1,000 Pro Stand aren’t really meant for normal people or even a talented home artist. They are intended for super high-end design firms and animation studios with massive equipment budgets to throw around.
Still, I can’t get past the thought that all of this hubbub could have been completely avoided if Apple had just priced its Pro Display XDR at $6,000 instead of $5,000, and then tossed in the Pro Stand for free.
MacDailyNews Take: The people who hate Apple’s Pro Display XDR’s Pro Stand’s $999 price the most are those who want it, but can’t afford it. Or can’t justify it to their boss/accountant.
So, don’t buy it. Those who want a high-precision stand and who can afford it will happily enjoy Apple Pro Stands for their $5,999 Pro Display XDR units (get the nano-texture matte option, it’s worth the extra grand, too).
Apple doesn’t do things without much thought. This $999 Pro Stand
says screams, “We make very high-end, precision instruments for professionals.” The outrage generated is intended. As we wrote the second after the price was disclosed on the WWDC keynote stage, “[The] stand costs $999 which, of course, will generate virtual reams of press, as it’s designed to do.”