Designed to be special: Apple isn’t surprised that its $19 towelette is backordered to 2022

Apple innovators are unfazed by the fact that their new device polishing cloth, costing nineteen bucks a pop, has already been backordered to late-January 2022.

An image of Apple's $29 polishing cloth for cleaning Apple displays and devices


  • Apple’s #19 towelette is backordered to late-January 2022
  • Tim Cook & Co. are not surprised by such a strong demand
  • The overpriced accessory has an Apple logo stamped on it
  • If you get a bit of FOMO, do go snap up one right now!

Apple $19 polishing cloth backordered to 2022

Even though the polishing cloth has been backordered to 2022, the company isn’t surprised by the strong demand for its $19 towelette that you may have seen featured in memes. According to an anonymous Apple official quoted in a new piece published by the New York Times, shipment is delayed until January 11, 2022, at the earliest.

An Apple official said in an interview, based on the condition that The New York Times not quote or identify her, that the company was not surprised by the demand for the Polishing Cloth. The official said the cloth was very effective and had been designed to be special, including a custom light gray color. Apple said the cloth was made of a nonwoven microfiber but declined to elaborate.

An Apple-branded polishing cloth was unveiled at its October 2021 event, much to the Internet’s amusement. The same cloth the size of two stacked dollar bills is included at no additional charge in the box with the iMac desktop and the Pro Display XDR. And thanks to Apple innovators, no longer would the faithful need to buy the company’s all-in-one desktop or its $6,000 monitor just to get this accessory. No sir, because a piece of cloth with an Apple logo stamped on it is now available standalone, too.

But soon after going on sale shipping times began slipping as Apple appeared to sell out initial stock of the $19 towelette. At the time of writing, new orders were listed with a wait time of 10-12 weeks. Which is to say, if you place your order for the $19 Polishing Cloth on right now, you won’t get the product until 2022.

The cleaning cloth is “compatible” with 88 different Apple products.

Repair experts over at iFixit have performed their ritual teardown dance, giving the $19 polishing cloth a repairability score of 0 out of 10. As the site found out, the product consists of two cloths that have been glued together. iFixit jokes that if you’re balking at the $19 price tag for one cleaning cloth, maybe forking over $9.50 for two isn’t so bad.

Made with soft, non-abrasive material, the accessory was meant for cleaning any Apple display. As we reported, that includes sensitive nano-texture glass found on the screen of the new MacBook Pro and Apple’s Pro Display XDR.

“To remove dust or smudges from the nano-texture glass screen, use only the polishing cloth that came with your Pro Display XDR or iMac,” notes a support document on the Apple website.