It would be easy to believe that Apple's tech products will suffer the most from global supply shortages. But, it seems not. According to The New York Times, Apple's $19 Polishing Cloth is the most backordered product. The company store has the microfiber cloth available for purchase. You'll need to wait between 10 and 12 weeks before you can get your Apple-branded polishing experience. You can wait two more months before your new MacBook Pro is officially cleaned of any smudges.
The backlog is not known, but it could be due to popular demand. According to an anonymous Apple representative, the company was not surprised by the high demand and that the cloth was specially designed (it was originally intended for the Pro Display XDR's nano-texture glass) and very effective.
If you have a regular screen to clean, it's not surprising that there are cheaper alternatives. Amazon sells six packs of MagicFiber cloths at $9 each, with the higher-priced options offering better value. The shortfall demonstrates both the quality of the official product as well as the wide range of supply constraints that can affect tech, sometimes in unexpected and surprising ways. If you are unable to get a polishing cloth in time, it is a sign that the industry is experiencing broad supply problems.