Apple just announced its latest pro-level monitor: the $4,999 6K Pro Display XDR. According to Apple’s official technical spec page for the Pro Display XDR, included in the box with the new $4,999 monitor will be a power cord, a Thunderbolt 3 Pro cable, and a polishing cloth. Conspicuously missing is any form of a stand.
While Apple announced onstage that the nifty magnetically attached Pro Stand — which allows the screen to tilt, angle, and even rotate from landscape to portrait modes — would be sold separately for an extra $999, the company didn’t mention that it (along with the $199 VESA mount adapter, which will require you to buy another third-party stand) are the only stand options for the Pro Display XDR. Despite the fact that the name implies some sort of “Amateur Stand” option that lacks the fancy tricks or “precise mechanism in the arm [that] counterbalances the display” of the Pro Stand, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
That leaves the Pro Stand as a $999 device that’s crucial to the basic setup and use of the (already expensive) monitor it’s designed for. That also means customers will have to shell out extra money if they want to use the device at all. In other words: Apple may have just announced the priciest dongle of all time.
The Pro Display XDR isn’t available to buy yet, so it’s entirely possible that Apple’s store configurator tool won’t allow you to buy a Pro Display XDR without including one of the two stand options, much like how you can’t buy an Apple Watch without a band attached.
But the language on the page, which notes that the “Pro Stand and VESA Mount Adapter sold separately,” seems to indicate that it’ll be entirely possible to buy a Pro Display XDR without a stand at all.
Apple hasn’t explained why the Pro Stand is so expensive. The company is using its own proprietary mounting system to connect the Pro Stand and VESA mount to the Pro Display XDR, which the company notes is designed to allow owners to easily move the display around (say, from a set to a studio or vice versa). But $1,000 seems to be a pretty hefty price to pay for that kind of versatility.
At this stage, we don’t know how proprietary Apple’s magnetic system is or whether third-party companies will be allowed (or even physically able) to design and sell their own hopefully cheaper options. Given Apple’s historically tight grip on what third-party accessories it allows for its devices, though, it may not be worth getting your hopes up.
Still, all hope isn’t lost: we also don’t know how robust the box that the Pro Display XDR comes in is. It’s entirely plausible that you’ll just be able to prop up the $5,999 display with a hunk of cardboard or by leaning it up against a wall. Just be careful not to drop it.