Steve Jobs proposed an Apple Card as far back as 2004

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs floated the idea of an Apple Card in 2004, though that incarnation would've been far different, according to one of the company's former creative directors.

2004 Apple Card


The card would've been purely physical and offered by Mastercard, Ken Segall revealed on Monday. And instead of cashback rewards, owners would've accrued "iPoints," usable for songs and albums on iTunes.

The project collapsed because Jobs couldn't secure the terms he wanted from Mastercard, Segall explained. By that point internal teams had already begun creating ads, each with a witty line based around popular bands.

"Buy bed, get R.E.M," said one. Some others included "Buy balloons, get Zeppelin," "Buy lipstick, get Kiss," and "Buy raincoat, get Weather Report."

Another card concocted by Jobs -- with the help of original retail head Ron Johnson -- was the short-lived Apple Pro Card. This offered a "world of benefits and privileges, designed exclusively for the professional Mac user," according to promo language. Segall noted that references to the Pro Card have all but disappeared from the internet, and that his "vague memory" is that it cost $99 per year.

Benefits were small, simply offering things like next-day Genius Bar appointments, early notification of upcoming deals, and free data migration to a PowerMac G5. There was also a special "Pro Day" at stores, offering 10% off software and free installation.

The modern Apple Card, coming to the U.S. sometime this summer, is primarily digital. Partners include Mastercard and Goldman Sachs.



Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    bsbeamerbsbeamer Posts: 27member
    I was "gifted" an Apple Pro Card back in the day from my business rep for a botched order and then issues with the replacement machine.  Benefits were almost nothing at the time and was still better to go through dedicated business rep.  I miss those days of customer service from Apple.  
  • Reply 2 of 8
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,789member
    bsbeamer said:
    I was "gifted" an Apple Pro Card back in the day from my business rep for a botched order and then issues with the replacement machine.  Benefits were almost nothing at the time and was still better to go through dedicated business rep.  I miss those days of customer service from Apple.  
    Many times when at the Apple store the sales person would ask if wanted to have a business sales rep. One time I said ok and made an appointment. I showed up for the appointment but the sales rep did not. I waited 30 minutes and then left. Now I always say no thanks.
  • Reply 3 of 8
    Apple did have a credit card.  It was a Visa through CitiBank and the last one expired in 1997.  It offered points towards Apple products.


    wandersoSpamSandwichSpamSandwichlolliverracerhomie3kurai
  • Reply 4 of 8
    wandersowanderso Posts: 104member
    Apple did have a credit card.  It was a Visa through CitiBank and the last one expired in 1997.  It offered points towards Apple products.


    I used to have one of these cards. I used it to reduce the cost of Mac purchases.  ($ off)
  • Reply 5 of 8
    designrdesignr Posts: 505member

    The modern Apple Card, coming to the U.S. sometime this summer, is primarily digital.
    I'm not sure exactly what this statement means.

    The "modern Apple Card" is a credit card just like any other credit card. It has some great design. It has great enough marketing to have some people convinced it's revolutionary in some way. It has some nicely designed UI over the top of its statement data. But it's really nothing but a credit card like any other.
    bonobob
  • Reply 6 of 8
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,895member
    designr said:

    The modern Apple Card, coming to the U.S. sometime this summer, is primarily digital.
    I'm not sure exactly what this statement means.

    The "modern Apple Card" is a credit card just like any other credit card. It has some great design. It has great enough marketing to have some people convinced it's revolutionary in some way. It has some nicely designed UI over the top of its statement data. But it's really nothing but a credit card like any other.
    It means it's primarily designed to be used via ApplePay which would already be registered, not swiping or chip & PIN with the possibility of adding it to ApplePay yourself. 
    edited May 20 lolliverracerhomie3watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 8
    designrdesignr Posts: 505member
    macxpress said:
    designr said:

    The modern Apple Card, coming to the U.S. sometime this summer, is primarily digital.
    I'm not sure exactly what this statement means.

    The "modern Apple Card" is a credit card just like any other credit card. It has some great design. It has great enough marketing to have some people convinced it's revolutionary in some way. It has some nicely designed UI over the top of its statement data. But it's really nothing but a credit card like any other.
    It means it's primarily designed to be used via ApplePay which would already be registered, not swiping or chip & PIN with the possibility of adding it to ApplePay yourself. 
    Okay. But I can use my existing card with Apple Pay (whether it was "primarily designed" to be used with it or not) so I get all of what you said with the (extremely) minor step of adding the card myself.

    Seems like people are tripping over themselves to make Apple's entry into the credit card business as something new and revolutionary. It's not.
    pascal007
  • Reply 8 of 8
    The "Pro Card" was actually ProCare, an add-on service exclusive to Apple Retail.  I used to sell these when I worked in the store back in 2005.  It was $99/year and allowed you to skip the line for genius bar appointments and get an hour of support per week for almost anything.  I had a lot of older customers buy them just to get tutorials on how to keep their computer organized, use Office apps, iPhoto, iMovie, etc.  It was more fun that working the floor because I didn't have to worry about selling anything.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ProCare
    edited May 20 racerhomie3kuraiwatto_cobra
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