What we have here is the packaging for a neoprene rectangle, 4 and 3/8ths inches wide, 10 and 3/4ths inches long, and 1/16th of an inch thick. How did this little patch of foam come into my life? I just bought a new iBook laptop, and the clerk at the Apple Store grabbed one and added it to the bundle of stuff I was getting. Not free, mind you. It cost $9.95. The reason she said I needed it was to prevent the keyboard from marking up the laptop screen. Fair enough — you don’t want your display scratched up.
Wouldn’t it be nice for Apple to throw in a little scrap of free neoprene, maybe with the company logo, when you shell out your two or three grand or whatever it is for one of their machines? Answer, yes, it would be nice. And it wouldn’t hurt profit margins much. I mean, how much can this little patch of fabric cost to produce? My totally unresearched guess is between a nickel and a quarter. (Hell, now I’ll have to research it.)
But the thinking is, I’m sure, who’s going to squawk about 10 bucks when they’re spending $2,000? No one, probably, though if I’d thought faster, maybe I would have said keep your keyboard cover because a sheet of typing paper or something like that will work just as well.
Checking the maker’s site, by the way, I see they charge $6.95. Apple’s markup is $3, or about 42 percent.