Apple has had their fair share of slipups, from their Apple/Mac VPN fiasco in China a couple years back to earlier this year, when Apple unveiled their $5,000 Apple Pro Display XR, a 6k monitor that promises the most vivid colors of any monitor out today. This claim is amplified by the XDR label, Apple’s way of saying that the monitor surpasses HDR, instead claiming the monitor as an “XDR monitor”.
What does the X stand for? Xtreme of course!
Speaking of stands, the monitor doesn’t come with one. Yep, you read that right! $5k gets you a nice monitor without the nice stand. But hey, Apple lets you buy the monitor stand separately for another…$999.
Who thought that selling a monitor stand for $1,000 was a good idea?! Why not bundle it with the monitor and sell the whole package for $6k? It would make a lot more sense than…this.
Theory 1: Marketing
Whenever a decent-sized company fumbles, the #1 theory the Internet jumps to is that it’s all marketing. Company A did something wrong and later fixed it? They definitely calculated it to look like the good guys. Company B is selling a stand for an obscene amount of money?
What is that one saying? “Any press is good press”?
Personally, I’m not buying this angle. Apple doesn’t need any more marketing, since they’re, you know, one of the largest tech companies in the world.
Theory 2: Pandering to a Niche Market
Analyses such as the one from ibtimes argue that Apple is performing a fairly standard operation when it comes to pricing, pointing out that professionals who will buy the display most likely have their own stand already. Furthermore, professional equipment is bound to cost more than consumer equipment, due to the niche market, AKA lower sales.
However, I’m not satisfied with this answer because I don’t think any monitor stand should be $999. Sure, the stand looks nice, will definitely be sturdily constructed and will overall ooze quality, but it definitely won’t be “not eating for the next month” quality.
Theory 3: Apple is Oblivious
My favorite theory is that Apple doesn’t understand the market, leading to extravagant pricing. But you know what? I think Apple does know their market, and that’s exactly why they priced the monitor stand at $1,000.
Because their brand will not suffer long-term.
Sure, the monitor stand was it’s own meme for, like, 2 weeks, but what about now? Do you even remember the monitor stand? Probably not until I mentioned it, right?
There are people out there willing to buy everything Apple, and these specific people don’t care about money, as it’s just an object to them. What really matters is having everything Apple.
I’m not bashing Apple or making fun of specific fans, I’m just pointing out that Apple knows how to play the market and how far they can stretch the graces of their fans. Until they pass the line of graciousness, Tim Cook and the rest of Apple will sell items for as high of a price as they can. It’s just business.
Overall, unless you’re the executive(s) that decided on the final price of the stand and how it would be sold (without a bundle), you’ll never be able to understand the thought process behind it. This question has been haunting me for weeks and it’s only now I got to write it down!
Maybe next year Apple will sell the new MacBook Airs without a charger, the charger costing $300. I don’t know anymore, I think Apple has finally realized that their prices won’t affect their core fanbase, which is all they need to keep the business chugging. All in all, I claim Theory 3 as the winner; Apple definitely knows what they’re doing, and we’re laughing at the business genius/stupidity that is a $999 monitor stand.