Apple’s $25 polishing cloth gets a “teardown”

The people at iFixit are always taking apart gear to see what’s inside, how it works, and how easy it is to repair. The latest thing in the lab is Apple’s premium polishing cloth for device screens, which retails for $25 (US$19).

It’s a cloth. What makes it worth that kind of money? Here are some excerpts from an article entitled “The Thinnest Apple Device Yet.”

The material feels identical to the inner lining of an iPad Smart Cover, which features a thin layer of microfiber on the inside. Both have a distinct synthetic leather feel to them with a hint of fuzziness, similar to Alcantara.

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.

Wait a minute, this is a piece of cloth. What are we doing here? Where did this come from? And where did our twenty dollars go? It’s time to get back to the Mac(Book).

The new Apple Polishing Cloth earns a 0 out of 10 on our repairability scale, for distracting us from a very important MacBook Pro teardown and not going back together after we cut it into pieces with scissors.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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