Thursday, August 22, 2019

Storing Your Apple Card Wrong

Apple (via MacRumors, The Verge):

If your titanium Apple Card comes into contact with hard surfaces or materials, it’s possible that the coating can be damaged.


Some fabrics, like leather and denim, might cause permanent discoloration that will not wash off.


Place your card in a slot in your wallet or billfold without touching another credit card. If two credit cards are placed in the same slot your card could become scratched.

Marco Arment:

I always store my credit card in a leather wallet, in a slot with two other cards, in my denim jeans pocket — and I don’t think this is a rare setup.

John Gruber (tweet):

If Apple Card gets genuinely sloppy-looking after carrying it like you would any other card — if it’s atypically prone to staining or scratching — that’s a problem. But I suspect these are instructions for obsessives who want to keep their cards in mint condition.

Joe Cieplinski:

All kidding aside, Apple is clearly trying to get out in front of the eventual story. And the strategy will likely be pretty effective.

I hope that’s it.

Dr. Drang (tweet):

My complaint is not that the Apple Card may lose its luster in a wallet. I’m not sure anything will maintain its looks when put between sheets of leather and compressed by my butt. My complaint is that Apple wrote a support document that looks absurd and invites snarky comments. Everything Apple does generates derision from Apple haters; this generated derision from Apple’s best customers.

The support document is, in fact, putting function over form. Apple wants to tell its customers that the card won’t look brand new forever and advise them on the best way to store it. That’s the function of the document. But through bad writing—how many people read this before it was published?—it looks like Apple made a fragile card and is advising you to store it in a way that will destroy it.

Peter N Lewis:

Only Apple could make a titanium card that can get scratched by plastic cards…

Jessie Char:

Apple design’s OCD is showing. Not everyone is going to obsess over physical credit card maintenance and by the sound of it the cards will look bad with average treatment.

Apple’s biggest strength can be its biggest weakness. Everyone’s so focused on flawless execution that they forget consumers aren’t also going treat the products with white gloves. To them it’s a sculpture, to us it’s a thing we want to use and not worry about.

Vítor Galvão:

Apple is supposed to be the design company. This card is bad design (it gets worn out by contact with common material).

Daren Ulmer:

What would any of their products be if you didn’t need some kind of dongle to use them in a normal manner?

Storm Garelli:

“Apple Card Socks!”

Jessica Glenn:

2011 iPhone4: avoid contact with hands

2016 MacBook Keyboard: avoid contact with fingers

2019 Apple Card: avoid contact with wallet or jeans

2022 Apple Car: avoid contact with road

Felix Salmon (via John Gordon):

The Apple Card is a “World Elite” Mastercard, which carries the highest possible interchange fee in all circumstances. That fee, which can range as high as 3.25% plus 10 cents, is taken off the top of any payment before the merchant receives anything. The fee is the same whether you use the physical Apple Card or the virtual one on your phone.

The Apple Card is the first card without an annual fee to get World Elite status, payments consultant Richard Crone tells Axios. And it’s almost certainly the first to get issued to subprime borrowers.

Update (2019-08-22): Zed Murray:

Worst on the mag strip and edges. But everywhere on the card that looks “dirty” cannot be rubbed off, it’s from the white that has already come off

Definitely looks worse than a regular card.

Update (2019-08-23): Dominic Rushe:

The news triggered plenty of jokes online, with people offering suggestions for Apple, such as making a knitted cosy for the card or hanging the card in a “floating glass frame in a dimly lit, year round 70 degree, humidity controlled location. No flash photography please.”

Bruce Tognazzini:

The Apple mania for visual design at the expense of usability has reached a new apex: The new Apple credit card must not be kept in anything made of leather or denim, nor left adjacent to other cards. In other words, leave it at home.

See also: Hacker News.

Update (2019-08-29): Matt Birchler:

I can only speak for my social/workplace circles, but Apple’s “Apple Card shouldn’t really touch leather or denim” message has added tons of wood to the “Apple doesn’t design things for human beings” fire.

Joshua Emmons:

Enough with the weird obsessing over a care doc for the Apple Card. They have these for every one of their products. The story isn’t that they don’t want you to put it in you wallet, it’s that they’re treating it as a full-fledged product.

I mean, the cleaning guide for the iPhone case literally says it’s best not to clean it. And then suggests to also keep it away from water, oil, denim, and sunlight. It’s just they way these are written.

However, Apple Card actually does seem to be a lot more sensitive.

Update (2019-09-03): See also: Accidental Tech Podcast and The Talk Show.

Update (2019-09-09): I received my Apple Card, and it started out with some of the coating scraped off the magnetic strip. This is the first time in 20+ years of using credit cards that a new one did not arrive in perfect condition. So I’m inclined to believe that it’s more fragile than a regular plastic card.

On the plus side, the edges of the card are less sharp than I expected based on what I’d read.

3 Comments RSS · Twitter

I’m just going to say it. This the PERFECT CARD for “Apple faithful” & sycophant tech bloggers, because if you put up with

2011 iPhone4: avoid contact with hands

2016 MacBook Keyboard: avoid contact with fingers

and every other Apple design-over-function-or-quality foible then you can’t say anything about a subprime credit card that every vendor will hate but that only looks good for the first 5 minutes it’s in your wallet.

INB4 overpriced (maybe US$99?) "Apple Card Holders” hit Amazon. Apple SRP $150.

If I had one I'd be tempted to find a way to remove the card's chip, then sand off the white coating, and heat the titanium to get a nice rainbow oxidation layer on the surface. Then I'd glue the smart chip back on.

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