Comic relief: iJustine unboxes and iFixit tears down the Apple Polishing Cloth (video)

From “The Thinnest Apple Device Yet: Polishing Cloth Teardown” posted Wednesday on iFixit:

Upon closer inspection, it’s actually two cloths glued together! If you feel a bit underwhelmed by your $19 purchase, pull both layers apart and suddenly you have two cloths, each costing only $9.50.

But let’s go a bit deeper.

Under a microscope the premium quality of Apple’s polishing cloth comes to life. On the left, you’ll see a plain old cleaning cloth. Boring. On the right? Miniscule fibers intricately woven together, uniting to become not just a tool for cleaning, but an object of beauty worthy of being cleaned itself. Amidst the beauty, a thin line delicately traces the form of mankind’s foundational fruit: an apple.

Cue iJustine’s review:

My take: Laugh all you want, but on Ebay, Apple’s sold-out microfiber polishing cloth is going for $49 plus shipping.

UPDATE: Daisuke Wakabayashi has taken a whack at the story — “Apple’s Most Back-Ordered New Product Is Not What You Expect” — probably for Saturday’s New York Times.


  1. Adam Stein said:
    Just give it 50 years, and a never-opened-in-the-box Apple cleaning cloth will auction for 100k.

    October 29, 2021
  2. Robert Paul Leitao said:
    We invest thousands of dollars in Apple products. What’s so outrageous about sharing a $20 cloth among family members to help keep the equipment clean? I won’t be using it to wash a car.

    October 29, 2021
  3. Ken Cheng said:
    Did they do a skit about it on SNL, yet? No, they can’t get one?

    I have a very nice large Bausch & Lomb polishing cloth, and I use it all the time for my eyeglasses. For important items, I can easily see paying up to $20 to keep them clean.

    October 29, 2021
  4. Jerry Doyle said:
    I remember in the 1970s walking through the original Neiman Marcus department store in downtown Dallas and seeing a small crowd of people in line to make a purchase. It was for a “Pet Rock.” So, I wanted to see what the Pet Rock looked like and maneuvered myself to get a glimpse. It looked to be no more than a mounted rock. It was beautifully boxed and came with a pamphlet of instructions on how to care for your Pet Rock. I decided to get in line and purchase one for myself and more as gifts for friends. I cannot remember the price I paid for those Pet Rocks, but I do remember they were not inexpensive.

    It surprises me little that Apple’s most backed-ordered new product is just a point of sheer excess. As Mr. Lee acknowledged, calling the splurge on the Apple Polishing Cloth an impulse buy of “the most elite cloth.” He added: “I just spent $4,000 on a laptop. What’s another $19?”

    The Pet Rock that Christmas in Dallas went flying off the charts. Neiman Marcus had them back-ordered. Everybody was buying these crazy Pet Rocks as gifts. Dallas had money, big money in oil & gas. People had jobs and money in their pockets. On Saturday nights businessmen who wore suits during the day in downtown Dallas were two-steppin’ in cowboy boots, blue jeans, white shirts and Stetsons during the Urban Cowboy era at Belle Starr and the Longhorn Ballroom. The Dallas Cowboys were America’s team winning Super Bowls. The number one hit TV series world-wide was “Dallas.” So, heck! Bring on the foolishness of owning a Pet Rock.

    Apple, though, produces premium quality products. For this reason Apple charges prices that carry higher margins. It shocked me in the article that the gentleman denoted that he used a “paper towel” to clean his computer screen. Imbedded in a paper towel are tens of thousands of minuscule wood fibers that scratches the computer screen. Apple strives to save us from ourselves just as the 70s’ Pet Rock saved many Texans. I placed my Pet Rock on my desk at work. It was a great conversation piece for lightening the atmosphere before starting a serious meeting.

    I can’t recall what happened to my Pet Rock during the subsequent career moves from office to office, but I no longer have him with me. I do plan to purchase me an Apple Polishing Cloth and get some as Christmas stockings.

    October 29, 2021
  5. Romeo A Esparrago Jr said:
    “Cloth”, the Maven … “Ever More!”

    apologies to E.A. Poe

    October 30, 2021
  6. Steven Philips said:
    On the subject of adapters, it’s another of those “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” issues. If Apple includes it they’re polluting. If they don’t they’re fleecing the customer. My thought was that they should send a bulk supply to each Apple store and ask whether the customer needs one or not. Then just add it for free or $5.00 or something. Of course this doesn’t help with online purchases and would probably have other complicating issues! Can’t win!

    October 30, 2021
  7. Peter Kropf said:
    Justine is really talented. If she could deliver this monologue to open SNL with all the polish she shows here, it would be ‘legendary’.

    October 30, 2021

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