Apple and the case of the special cloth

If you honestly believed that the whole sordid story of Apple’s Pro Display XDR could now be put to rest, get ready for a surprise.

After you’ve paid $5,000 for the display, forked out another $999 for the stand, and parted with an additional $1,000 for the ‘nano-texture’ coating, there’s something else you might not have expected: you can’t clean the monitor with just any old cloth – you have to clean it with the ‘special’ cleaning cloth that Apple supplies with the product.

The company became the subject of ridicule and anger when the price of its top-of-the-range monitor became known in June.

Granted, there are other expensive screens on the market; but what irked Apple fans is the fact that they had to pay an extra $999 for the stand, and another $1,000 for the nano-texture coating.

From a purely technical point of view, it’s not even a coating, but rather a very small-scale surface etching that is supposed to enhance the picture quality without the cons of a full-matte coating.

The product manual claims that this coating does not produce unwanted sparkle and haze, or lower contrast like matte displays supposedly do.

Sadly, with this unique nano-texture technology comes the requirement that you use only the included dry polishing cloth.

Here’s the catch: “If you lose the included polishing cloth, you can contact Apple to order a replacement polishing cloth.”

That, of course, also applies if the original one can no longer do the job.

Of course, nobody buys a $5,000 screen and then cleans it with old newspapers.

And an ‘ordinary’ microfibre cloth might just get shredded by the screen’s nano-scale ridges, or get its fibres trapped in the minute interstices.

However, the whole ‘special cloth’ issue smacks of elitism and monopolistic behaviour.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that with Apple, if you marry the bride, you are indeed marrying the whole family.

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