The Ghost of Apple Card Past

Ken Segall informs us that the Apple Card we’re all currently waiting for— the Goldman Sachs variety— was not actually the firstApple Card. Back in 2004, Steve Jobs had an idea for a credit card from Apple:

In typical Steve fashion, though, he wanted to do something different. Instead of offering frequent flier points or cash back, the Apple Card would be far cooler. It would offer free music.
Purchases would earn iPoints, which could be redeemed for your favorite music on iTunes.

These days, in the era of Spotify/Apple Music, that idea seems silly. But 15 years ago, in the era of iTunes — the heyday of iTunes, not the current ugh, iTunes— this would have been a pretty cool perk. A very Jobsian perk. Also:

In the early days of the Apple Store, Steve Jobs and Ron Johnson cooked up the Apple Pro Card to show the pro customers some love.
In Apple’s words, the Pro Card was “your passport to a world of benefits and privileges, designed exclusively for the professional Mac user.”
Sadly, those benefits were borderline pathetic: Free transfer of your files to a new Power Mac G5; “Pro Day” at the Apple Store with 10% off software and free installation; guaranteed next-day Genius Bar appointments; early notification of upcoming offers.

That does sound rather pathetic. But also a bit like the seeding of an “Apple Prime”


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