Check out Apple’s wild tool for technicians to remove the Studio Display power cable

Apple’s proprietary tool allows authorized technicians to detach just the Studio Display cable instead of the entire screen, reducing out-of-warranty repair costs.

A still image from Apple's commercial for the Studio Display showcasing a creative professional editing an illustration on their Mac Studio and Studio Display, with the tagline "Introducing Studio Display" displayed near the top of the image
Image credit: Apple / YouTube
  • Apple says the Studio Display power cable is non-removable, but a more precise way of putting it would be by saying that the cable is not user-removable.
  • Apple has now created a special tool for technicians to safely remove the Studio Display cable, and you need to see how it looks.
  • The specially-designed tool should help reduce out-of-warranty repair costs because technicians can detach just the cable instead of the whole display.

Is the Studio Display power cable removable?

Apple ships the monitor with the cable attached and in place, but discourages users from pulling it free. As spelled out in Apple’s support document, “The power cord is not removable.” But that doesn’t mean that the rule applies to the company’s own technicians. As it turns out, Apple has developed a special, weird-looking tool for technicians to safely remove the Studio Display’s power cable.

Twitter account “@StellaFudge” has shared images of the weird-looking device.

Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac:

With the cable wrapped around the tool that works like a handle, the power cable can easily be disconnected from the display. Unfortunately, this is an internal tool created for Apple technicians, so you shouldn’t expect to find it available for sale anywhere.

So if your cable breaks or starts malfunctioning, Apple can pull it out using this tool and install a replacement. The hope is that the tool will reduce the number of out-of-warranty repairs, but it also probably means that only Apple can sell you a replacement cable. Read: Tips to prolong the lifespan of your MacBook battery

That’s because Studio Display uses a non-standard, custom power connection.

Studio Display has a proprietary power connection

Like with magnetic charging on the 24-inch iMac, the newly-released Studio Display features a proprietary three-pronged power connector to support secure connection on thin devices such as the new Studio Display.

Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider:

Most users will be familiar with the C13 power cord, a three-pronged plug taking the form of a chunky rectangle with two corners cut away. This is a very common connector used throughout the computing industry for larger devices, including monitors and PCs. The problem with the connector type is its size. The C14 inlet, which is used to accept the C13 connector, is too deep to be feasibly included in thin computing deices.

In other words, Studio Display is too thin to use the C13:

Instead, Apple had to come up with its own power connector, to allow a cable that could feasibly be replaced to be connected securely. At the same time, the connector has to do so without Apple needing to sacrifice any extra thickness.

We’re sure glad that Studio Display features an integrated power supply instead of an unsightly external power brick that the iMac uses.

Just don’t be like Nilay

Of course, Apple’s advice to steer away from manually removing the cable hasn’t deterred The Verge editor-in-chief Nilay Patel from doing exactly that.

Our best advice to you, dear reader, would be to avoid being like Nilay.

Don’t try to pull the cable free, you could damage the monitor. At $1,699, this isn’t a cheap screen. You can extend standard 1-year coverage by purchasing a $149 AppleCare+ plan that boosts the warranty by another twelve months and covers physical damage.

Should you buy Apple Care+ for your Studio Display?

With an AppleCare+ plan for Studio Display, your repair costs decrease drastically vs. out-of-warranty repairs, even with incident fees taken into account.

Without AppleCare+, however, you’ll need to pay out-of-warranty fees for cracked screens or other damage. Apple has yet to disclose how much an out-of-warranty screen replacement might cost without AppleCare+, but the price is sure to be high. Read: How to rotate a Mac monitor and use it vertically

According to Apple’s support document, replacing the whole Studio Display screen or just the external enclosure is subject to a per-incident fee of $99—if you have AppleCare+, that is. Similarly, an AppleCare+ fee for “other damage” is set at $299.

These are the same AppleCare+ incident fees as those for the $4,999 Pro Display XDR.