What’s Wrong With the Apple Credit Card
I had a discussion with a dear friend and I asked about Apple. His answer further affirmed something I have been thinking for a while now. He said he thinks Apple is going down. His point was hinged on the fact that Apple is now only selling a brand. The new functions and features introduced to the iPhone is actually irrelevant to the average Apple user.
I do not hate Apple, in fact, I have an iPhone myself. I got the phone as a replacement to a Nokia I have used for a number of years. I got the phone because it had everything I required from a phone I would use for another two years. You could say my iPhone-user friends influenced me, but you must understand that I got an iPhone 6 and at that time, the iPhone X had already been released. I could have decided to buy a higher version of the iPhone, but it seemed unnecessary to pay more for features I don’t care for.
I’m coming for the credit card. Just follow me carefully
My friend was a developer and he made certain points about his stance. He uses a Mac Book Pro 2017 and said he noticed that the magnetic charging port that he had seen with the Mac in the past was no longer there. He stumbled on the charger once while walking and the laptop fell. If you own a “darling” Mac, you will understand the pain of seeing your laptop fall. The point is, why was that feature removed? I’m sure Apple has an explanation. But what would Steve Jobs think of that explanation?
The only innovative thing I think Apple has done since the demise of Jobs is the Airpods. The problem I have with the Airpods is that it really doesn’t do what the traditional Apple innovations are known to do.
Apple innovations are designed to change the way we interact with technology
The wireless headset had existed before, but nobody thought of that with the earpiece because it would perhaps be easily misplaced. Maybe that was even part of the business strategy of Apple. With Apple’s brand, the airpod was a success but it created a bigger problem and didn’t really solve any problem. Samsung saw that, and jumped on making an improved version (which I think is better). Meanwhile, Apple already made the airpod cool. Apart from cool, it really didn’t change the interaction of people with technology (considering the existence of the earpiece and the Bluetooth headset). However, the airpod innovation deserves some accolades.
What else has Apple done to change the way we interact with technology over the last few years?
Now, the credit card.
My first reaction to it was, ‘Oh, no!’ Not because the card wasn’t good or smart, but because this is not what Apple is supposed to be doing. The thing that came to my mind after I saw the card is a potential announcement years later by Apple saying, “we have decided to cut out the Apple card because it is inconsistent with the core mission and purpose of Apple”.
When a company starts venturing into banking or financial services (which is not in its original focus), then the company is heading down
Banking and financial services is a sector where stupid money is made. They don’t make money from people (unlike normal businesses), they make money off people. For example, the money US banks make is mainly from the Federal Reserve Bank of America — the banks just have to get the people to justify it. What the Apple card shows now is that Apple is gunning for a piece of the pie. I think Apple is going in that direction because they believe making PCs, phones, and other gadgets, is no longer enough to give them the edge they need.
Do you remember when Apple stocks suffered a severe drop as a result of slowing down in iPhone sales? Maybe this is the response to that. I believe this is the response to that. And again that brings us back to the difference between Tim Cook and Steve Jobs. Would Steve Jobs go into banking and financial services if he gets stuck on what next to make in tech products? History has the answer.
I believe nobody is more qualified to lead Apple business-wise than Tim Cook. But then the company suffers from the true innovation and purpose that made it great in the first place. I would suggest the company get a Head of Innovation, which has to be a dreamer like Jobs.
What about the features of the Apple card? It’s so cool!
Well, I don’t care. There are already several players in financial services. I personally believe solutions that have to do with the blockchain are the smartest and they will rule the world in a few years. I think the Apple card will be a serious distraction for Apple. I am guessing they will want to make it their number one source of revenue replacing the iPhone. And I also guess that it will be a disaster of a move. The only chance of success I can see if they go in that path is if Apple stops dealing with customers directly and become a B2B company.
Financial services companies don’t have a great reputation among everyday people. But Apple does. Going into financial services is something I believe will hurt the base of Apple gradually. My prediction about this move of Apple is that it will pay off in the short term and it will gradually become a mess in the long term.
I wrote this because I like Apple and I want to see the company succeed even more than they have in the past. I can only hope the right people see it and at least think about it.