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Steve Jobs first proposed an Apple credit card in 2004



  This 2004 Apple card never made it to any Apple Wallet.
This 2004 Apple card never made it to any Apple Wallet.
Photo: Ed Hardy / Cult of Mac

The Apple card announced this spring is not a new idea; It was first driven well over a decade ago. This came as a suggestion when CEO Steve Jobs did so long since it would have given users rewards in the form of free iTunes music to load on their iPod.

A blog post published today by Ken Segall describes the early version of Apple's credit card. Segall is a former Apple advertiser who worked closely with Steve Jobs for more than a dozen years. He is the guy who "put in" the iMac and worked on the famous "Think Different" campaign.

Apple Card of 2004

Although Jobs first suggested it, the credit card would have been called Apple Card. And instead of offering cash back to purchase, it would have provided customers something Apple had in abundance in 2004: music.

"Instead of offering frequent tile points or cash back, the Apple card would be far cooler. It would offer free music. Purchasing would earn iPoints, which could be redeemed for your favorite music on iTunes," Segall wrote.

With iPhone still 3 years away, Apple's premier product was iPod. This MP3 player, and digital downloads, has recently revolutionized the music industry. The proposed credit card would exploit that success.

But it wasn't to be. "Steve worked to create a partnership with MasterCard, but he apparently couldn't get the terms he wanted, so he pulled the plug," says Segall.

Apple Card of 2019

Steve Jobs died in 2011 so he never saw the Apple card going to be met. It was announced in March and is scheduled for release this summer.

With music sales only a small percentage of the company's business now, this credit card will give money back as a reward for users.


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