Apple’s $999 stand for the new Pro Display XDR drives some people crazy

The Pro Stand
The Pro Stand makes every adjustment of your display feel seamless. Precision tilting and 120 mm of height adjustment help Pro Display XDR adapt to any viewing condition. The angle of the display stays true even as you adjust the height. With the Pro Stand, you get a display that feels weightless, moves effortlessly where you want it, and stays exactly where you leave it. The Pro Stand also gives you the ability to move between landscape and portrait whenever you want.

Devindra Hardawar for Engadget:

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.

Sam Rutherford for Gizmodo:

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.”

48 Comments

  1. Apple often jumps the shark… like selling me a MacBook Pro, thin for the sake of thinness, so no ports for peripherals. Instead I get to research and pay for a rubbishy extra thing to actually plug my stuff into. Sigh.

    1. As some of you have noticed on this site, I play the very high end computing game. My initial thought back when the rumors (and hints from Apple’s sales force) of the new Mac Pro and this monitor started to solidify/coalesce was to purchase a nearly maxed out Mac Pro and three (yes, 3) of these monitors used in portrait mode to show very large, complex simulations in real-time or at least near real-time across all three monitors. The cost of the monitors and these stands will likely make such a configuration prohibitive. I was thinking on the order of $25,000 or so for the Mac Pro and on the order of $10,000 for the monitors. Paying $18,000 just for the monitors almost certainly busts the budget.

      While it makes my skin crawl more than just a bit, I may end up settling for three Dell 8K monitors arranged that way. A bit more screen real estate (pixels) for significantly less money as they are currently $3,900 each including the stand (and occasionally for about $3,500 if you can catch a sale and by the time the Mac Pro actually ships the $3,500 price may be standard). Yes, they don’t have the same color dynamic range, but I don’t need that. Would the color range and brightness be usable? Yes. But is it absolutely necessary? No. Thus I may be stuck with Dell monitors. Damn!

  2. What I don’t understand is without the Pro Stand, how can you even use the monitor? Hang it on the wall? I understand it if it the stands adds something additional and cool, like that rotation feature, but if the monitor is useless without it, then how can it be an option?

    1. This is the stick in the eye. They sell this device with NO MOUNTING OPTION for $5,000. The mounting option (not a stand, mind you) costs $200.

      I’d probably still be mad if they offered it for $5,000 with VESA (bring your own stand) or $6,000 with theirs, but requiring you to pony up extra for the VESA plate is a kick in the balls.

      1. $5,000 for professional grade equipment that lets you do things you couldn’t before is nothing. This is not a gaming rig, it’s like buying a camera or a mixing console.

  3. It reveals who is a pro and who is an armchair “pro”. A pro video person could easily spend $2000 on a pro tripod (which are “simple” metal vs. the sophisticated electronics of the camera) for their $10,000 camera. Why? Because the cheaper tripods are not as good. The question is… how many of the squealers were actually planning to spend $5000 on a pro reference monitor?

    1. A business class ticket fro San Francisco to Frankfurt costs $6,000. If you go for a meeting add the hotels, meals, drinks and cars. This monitor will be used for productive work for at least a couple of years.

      Industry pays this kind of price for tools to get things done. We charge $3k to $5k to have someone show up and train a user. Long ago we used to charge $2,500 for a printer cable.

      This computer and monitor don’t just offer tremendous specs, they will perform reliably day in and day out for years and if there is a problem they are backed up with great service. Easily worth the price.

    2. I can understand an expensive tripod. It probably allows better stability and/or vibration dampening for cleaner photos. The $1k monitor stand on the other hand is a bit harder to justify in terms of adding to productivity, that is unless that $5k monitor is also a touch display and would benefit from stability once placed in a desired position and orientation.

      1. Higher end (and all really high end as far as I know) have a mechanism of some type by which you can hang your camera back with extra lenses and such between the legs of the tripod at a reasonable distance below the tripod camera attachment head. Adding that weight to the tripod thereby lowering the overall center of gravity of the full camera/lens/tripod/bag set adds significant stability for a photo shoot. (And, don’t forget to do a RF remote shutter release so you don’t cause any vibrations by doing a manual shutter release.)

        1. Sure, higher end stuff does that with tripods (et al) … but they’ve also not been immune to competition and technology. Case in point:

          the carbon fiber tripod that a decade ago cost $1K (plus head) is now $200-$250.
          gimbal heads for counterbalanced use of long telephoto lenses are still north of $1K if you buy the name brands (RRS) … but there’s now also quite respectable brands selling their versions for a third as much.
          the full frame dSLR which cost $4K a decade ago has forked into two customer options: (a) much higher resolution (30+MP) at the same price point, and (b) merely double the resolution (~26MP) at 1/3rd the price ($1200). Plus you can always go buy the original one used, at 1/10th its original MSRP.

          The thing to keep in mind with all of this is that markets change. Both hardware specifications and prices are particularly susceptible to being disrupted.

    3. My wife bought the top of the line carbon fiber tripod for her camera and uses it with her large telephoto lenses too. It was most definitely not “simple” metal. The cost for that tripod was no where near $2,000. And yes, some of her lens and camera body combinations cost many times $10,000.

      There really is no excuse for Apple to charge $999 for the stand. That’s just customer price gouging. Period.

    4. Um….$45,000 for the camera without the lens. Those cameras are sold out for 5 years. Just manufacturing capacity. $250,000 for the mix console, sound system not included.

      Maybe Apple should consider a bundled discount when they sell their Pro systems.

      I think the article was talking about the way it was announced. I heard it too. You could almost hear all the jaws hit the floor when he said, the stand was $999. Everybody in the auditorium was misled to assume the monitor included the stand. He probably could have said the Monitor was $6000 and if you don’t need the stand, there will be a discount.

      Also, if real Pro equipment is ever stolen, it is unlikely the thief would be able to fence them off. These machines are so specialized and custom configured into specific workflows, anybody that knows how to use these things knows who owns them.

      1. Also, if real Pro equipment is ever stolen, it is unlikely the thief would be able to fence them off.

        You’d be surprised. I’ve seen highly specialized underwater photography equipment get stolen … and only found because the thief was stupid enough to put it up on eBay six months after the fact, and only then because it happened to have a a highly distinctive damage mark that the owner included in his police report and the thief showed in his eBay photos.

    1. Maybe not almost as good, but adequate. But then, I’m buying this, and I’m going to buy the stand as well, because after I finish getting everything together, the stand is going to just add a small increment to the overall cost. And that’s how most will think. Except for studios that have several monitors mounted on a rail with several VESA mounts attached. They will just use the VESA adapter.

      People also have to understand that when clients come around, they want to see the best equipment. It’s you, marketing yourself.

      1. Totally agree with marketing yourself, however you must realize that such conspicuous consumption could also scare the client. You want to project that you might opt for the best but also keep a budget in mind to do the job for them, and that could start from where the client perceives you might be a spendthrift in your own equipment.

      2. Just as there is a distinction between form and function (yes, I agree, they need to be aligned), there is a distinction between the fashion business and the douchebag business.

        For the sake of your business, you are wisely catering to them.

  4. The number of times the coolest kids in the room fail at the optics side of the equation is rather telling, and reinforces what we suspect from the start – they were never really that cool.

    By the way, anybody else get the vibe that Tim Cook has never seen a playback of his keynote to understand the depth of his ultimate corporate phony schtick?

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