Apple Polishing Cloth Becomes Most Back-Ordered New Product

Apple had us wondering if we had somehow travelled back in time to April 1 with the launch of the Polishing Cloth last week. The Apple Polishing Cloth is a piece of fabric made out of “soft, nonabrasive material” which Apple says is a kind of non-woven microfiber, designed to clean the screens of its products “safely and effectively.”

But, who would have guessed that in the months following the launch of Apple’s iPhone 13 series and a pair of new MacBook Pro models that, for the first time in years, are actually designed for professionals, the company’s most back-ordered product would be a $25 6.3″ X 6.3″ patch of microfibre (via The New York Times)?

When Apple launched the Polishing Cloth, people were left wondering not just why it was priced so high, but why it exists as a standalone product in the first place.

Well, delivery dates for the $25 CAD piece of fabric have already slipped into 2022, just ten days after it was launched. As for its price… well, it’s Apple — what more is there to say?

MagicFiber, a popular brand of microfiber cloth that uses ultrafine fibers to clean glass screens without scratching them, offers a pack of six for $15.79 on Amazon.

Of course, the MagicFiber polishing cloths don’t have the Apple logo on them that the Polishing Cloth does. And to Apple’s userbase, that makes quite the difference.

Albert Lee, 47, a director at a consulting firm in New York, said he bought the Polishing Cloth during his trip to an Apple Store on Tuesday. He went on to get a new MacBook Pro, when the Polishing Cloth caught his eye. He ended up buying four of them on the spot, and proceeded to post a picture of his bounty on Twitter.

“It’s just a point of sheer excess,” Mr. Lee acknowledged, calling the splurge an impulse buy of “the most elite cloth.” He added: “I just spent $4,000 on a laptop. What’s another $19?”

It’s hard to pinpoint whether customers are buying the Polishing Cloth for its sheer meme potential, or because it’s quickly becoming a status symbol no one wants to miss out on, much like the glowing Apple logo on the company’s MacBooks of yesteryear. Who knows, they may even be buying them to actually clean their Apple products.

Apple used to include the Polishing Cloth as a freebie with its high-end monitor, the Pro Display XDR. The company says it decided to design its own cleaning cloth and sell it as a standalone product because customers kept coming in and asking to buy extras of the one they used to give away.

An Apple official also said in an interview that the Polishing Cloth was exceptionally effective and had been designed to be special, all the way down to its custom light gray colour.

Ever since Apple quietly put it up for sale, the Polishing Cloth has become the butt of many jokes — YouTubers the world over are posting dramatic unboxing videos, and the repair experts at iFixit even tore down (quite literally, in this case) the Polishing Cloth before sharing their detailed (and admittedly hilarious) thoughts on it.

The Polishing Cloth is “compatible” with 88 different Apple products, says the iPhone maker.

Click here to order your Apple Polishing Cloth today, though you may have to wait a fair bit for it to be delivered.