Apple took center stage at the Worldwide Developer Conference in San Jose on Monday to announce a variety of new products. While many of these announcements were well received, the introduction of a monitor stand with a price tag of $999 was met with audible groans, according to Gizmodo.
For context, the stand is more expensive than an iPhone X, which sells for $749 on Apple’s website.
The crowd’s reaction to the announcement was captured on a video hosted on YouTube although that video has since been blocked by Apple on copyright grounds.
The most striking thing about the incident was that before the monitor stand was revealed the crowd was giving positive feedback to what was shaping up to be an extremely expensive piece of equipment. The announcement was immediately preceded by the unveiling of both the new Mac Pro, which starts at $6,000, and the 32-inch 6K HDR monitor that the stand was designed for, which alone costs $5,000.
Furthermore, the Gizmodo article notes, “that was in a room filled with reporters, Apple employees, Apple developers, and other assorted Apple followers who really ought to be immune to Apple sticker shock by now.”
The crowd’s negative reaction was enough to make John Ternus, Apple VP of hardware engineering and presenter at the event, stammer before he continued with his presentation, according to Endgadget.
That shocked reaction carried over to Twitter, with some users comparing it to Apple’s history of adding unasked functionality to artificially raise prices, such as the replacement of function keys with the touchscreen Touch Bar on the Mac Book Pro.
According to CNN, one user wrote, “The pro stand costing more than most laptops and phones outside of Apple’s realm is the ultimate middle finger to any consumer that is seriously considering their machine. Every new device Apple has released in the last year is a cash grab in exchange for no new functionality.”
So what does $999 get an Apple user from a monitor stand? The Pro Display XDR’s stand features an independent hinge that will allow users to smoothly tilt the screen up to 25 degrees, adjust the height independently from the angle and rotate the display from landscape mode to portrait mode easily. The stand also uses a magnetic connector that will allow the display to be removed from the stand with minimal effort.
The only other available alternative officially available from Apple is the standard VESA mount, which costs $200.