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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Why Apple Is Making A Credit Card

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Back in March Apple introduced their very own credit card, to the audiences surprise.

There were virtually no rumors about Apple making a credit card and for some people the

idea didnt make much sense.

Why would Apple, a technology company, enter the financial services market?

Well, thats exactly what were going to find out.

This is Greg with Apple Explained, and I want to thank Nytstnd for sponsoring this video.

If you want to help decide which topics I cover, make sure youre subscribed and these

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Now although this video is about Apples credit card, we have to zoom out and see the

bigger picture in order to understand Apples strategy.

Because this is something much larger than a single product or service.

And it all started when Apple was faced with one of their biggest fears, the slowdown of

their primary source of revenue: hardware sales.

Now obviously Apple knew this would happen someday, and they took a few approaches to

prevent slowing hardware sales from eating into their revenue growth.

First, they began raising prices.

Over the past few years, the price of a flagship iPhone went up from $650 to $1,000.

The price of an iPad Pro went up from $650 to $800.

The price of an Apple Watch went up from $330 to $400.

The price of a MacBook Air went up from $1,000 to $1,200.

And the price of a Mac mini went up from $500 to $800.

Never in Apples history had we seen such exorbitant and deliberate price hikes across

all product categories.

And it was clear the reason why, especially when Apple decided to stop reporting unit

sales, and instead provide revenue earnings for each product category.

But that wasnt the only way Apple planned on combatting slowing hardware sales.

They also tried establishing a stronger presence in large foreign markets like China and India

where they hadnt seen much success in the past.

But this proved to be more complicated than perhaps even Apple expected.

Customers in China are much more price-conscious than in the US, and considering the iPhone

XS starts at $1,220 in China, it isnt surprising that most customers consider Apple products

out of reach.

Not to mention that smartphones are tough to differentiate in China since virtually

everyone uses the same app, WeChat, as a sortve proxy-operating system to call, send messages,

make purchases, pay bills, find local restaurants, book doctor appointments, hail taxis, hold

video conferences, use banking services, and even access their virtual government ID card.

So for many Chinese customers iOS and Android is irrelevant when both platforms offer their

true platform of choice: WeChat.

So as you mightve guessed, Apple was never able to make much headway in Chinese market.

And when it came to India, Apple faced a similar problem of being priced out of the market

due to import taxes.

They tried negotiating for lower tariffs and the opportunity to build Apple Stores in the

country, but India upheld their standards that foreign companies have to meet in order

to have access to the Indian market.

For example, manufacturing the products in the country and sourcing at least 30% of its

components from Indian companies.

So while their strategy of price hikes worked out as planned, their expansion into China

and India did not.

But Apple had one more idea to generate additional revenue.

Which was to aggressively expand their services category.

Because not only is it their fastest growing revenue source, but Apple can expect customers

to pay for services more reliably than hardware.

For example, if youre an Apple Music subscriber and enjoy the service, youll likely continue

to pay the monthly $10 subscription for many many years until you decide to use a different

streaming service or find a different way to listen to music altogether.

But those situations are far less likely to happen compared to you buying an iPhone and

then deciding to switch to android after a couple years.

And this isnt even considering the fact that by entrenching users in as many of their

services as possible, Apple is more likely to keep customers in their ecosystem.

If youre using iCloud Drive and Apple News, youre far less likely to buy non-Apple

products since they wouldnt allow you to use most of the Apple services youre familiar


Now you probably remember the Apple Event back in March where several new services like

Apple TV Plus, Apple News Plus, and Apple Arcade were announced.

Their introduction were fairly underwhelming since many rumors leading up to the event

were spot on in predicting the services Apple would reveal.

Thats is, all expect one.

When Apple announced their own credit card, it came as a surprise and left many people

wondering why Apple decided to make it.

After all, credit cards are financial products traditionally offered by banks.

So why would a technology company enter that market?

Well, there are a few really good reasons, but I want to start off by providing a little

bit of Apple history.

Because with any new product or service Apple has released since Tim Cook became CEO, there

are people who claimSteve Jobs would have never let that happen.”

And I heard this a lot in regards to their credit card.

But what most people dont know is that Steve Jobs actually wanted Apple to make their

own credit card.

Back in 2004 Jobs tried negotiating a deal with Mastercard to create an Apple credit

card that would offer users iPoints which could then be redeemed for free music.

The project got pretty far along since there had already been an ad campaign create in

preparation of its release.

But unfortunately Jobs wasnt able to get the terms he wanted with Mastercard so the

Apple credit card project was abandoned altogether.

Although if we go back even further in Apples history, wed discover that they did in

fact release several consumer and business credit cards in the 80s and 90s.

And they came with some incredible signing bonuses, like $2,500 of instant Apple credit

when approved.

Thats about $5,500 today adjusted for inflation, which is unbelievably generous for simply

singing up for a credit card.

Now eventually Apple stopped offering these cards, but its important to understand

that the concept of an Apple credit card isnt as inconceivable as it may appear.

Now lets figure out why itd be a good idea for Apple to offer a credit card to begin


And the first reason has to do with Apple Pay.

If you remember back in 2014 when Apple Pay was introduced, Apple wanted it to become

the most common way their users made purchases.

But this didnt end up being the case.

Adoption of Apple Pay by retailers moved painfully slow year after year, and made things frustrating

for users, who werent sure which stores accepted the payment method.

So half the time trying to use Apple Pay was more of a hassle than it was worth, since

it ended up not working anyway.

Apple also faced opposition from major retailers like Target, Walmart, Best Buy, CVS, and 7-Eleven

since they were already developing their own mobile payment system called CurrentC.

Its also important to point out the privacy features of Apple Pay that retailers arent

happy about.

If you use something like Walmart Pay which uses CurrentC technology or even traditional

debit and credit cards, the retailer is able to create a shopper profile for each customer

that would track their spending habits and deploy sales tactics like emailing coupons

or promotions in order to encourage more spending.

But if retailers adopted Apple Pay, theyd no longer be able to do this, which is seen

as detrimental to their business.

So in an effort to push the adoption of Apple Pay more aggressively and encourage its use

among users, Apple decided to integrate their credit card with the service and offer 2%

cash back if Apple Pay is used to make a purchase.

This will incentivize users to make transactions with Apple Pay while also putting pressure

on retailers to adopt the payment method for the convenience of their customers.

The second reason why Apple made a credit card is its huge revenue potential.

Although its unknown what kind of revenue split Apple and Mastercard agreed to, it is

known that banks generate an unbelievable amount of money from credit card interest.

And Apple is looking to cut a piece of that pie for themselves.

In fact, the average American carries about $5,300 worth of credit card debt month to


And with an average interest rate of about 17%, thats an average of $900 a month that

every credit card user is generation for their issuing bank.

So if Apple theoretically has one million cardholders and shares 50% of their revenue

with Mastercard, they'd still be making hundreds of millions of dollars every month off of


But this huge potential for revenue isnt the only reason why an Apple credit card is

a good idea.

It also encourages people to stay in Apples ecosystem by offering 3% cash back on purchases

from Apple and giving users an incredible way to track their spending and organize their

monthly payments.

Apple was in the perfect position as the creator of iOS to integrate incredible software features

that differentiates their credit card from others.

Not only is it primarily a virtual card that you can apply for through iOS, but its

issued to you just minutes after approval.

So you dont have to wait on the physical card to show up in the mail before using it.

Now that may not seem impressive to young people who are used to doing everything online,

but its a completely new approach to credit cards that we havent seen any bank take


And while the Apple Cards reward program isnt the most generous in the industry,

it is simple and straightforward.

You get instant cash back on all purchases made with the card.

No point system or waiting for your cash back at the end of each billing cycle.

So if you take a step back and look at the Apple credit card from a strategic perspective,

its easy to see why creating it was a good decision for Apple.

Itll generate a large source of revenue for the company, it offers improvements and

conveniences that other cards on the market dont, and itll be most appealing to

Apples own users which will keep them even more rooted in Apples ecosystem.

The card is set to be released this summer, and thatll help us gauge just how successful

Apples entry in the financial market will be.

And while you may have to wait a while before getting the Apple Card, you dont have to

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Alright guys thanks for watching and Ill see you next time.

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