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Apple Card can be damaged by wallets and jeans (bbc.co.uk)
60 points by jfk13 52 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 101 comments

A few weeks before launch, Steve Jobs replaced screens on the iPhone because they would get scratched too easily. You don't see this level of care anymore.

> For weeks, he had been carrying a prototype of the device in his pocket.

Mr. Jobs angrily held up his iPhone, angling it so everyone could see the dozens of tiny scratches marring its plastic screen, according to someone who attended the meeting. He then pulled his keys from his jeans.

People will carry this phone in their pocket, he said. People also carry their keys in their pocket. “I won’t sell a product that gets scratched,” he said tensely. The only solution was using unscratchable glass instead. “I want a glass screen, and I want it perfect in six weeks.”


They showed Steve!

Now phones can’t fit in pockets, especially with other items.

Just thought about this comment now. I kept all my iPhone in pocket together with keys never cared for scratches and never seen any. On iphone4, iphone5, iphone6. Now im typing this message on horribly scratched iphone8 screen done with same set of key that i carried my old iphone in the same pocket. That’s sad. And few days ago i just discovered my old iphone4. Soeaker on it still plays smooth with strong bass. Speaker on my iphone8 sounds like cheap crap already after 6 months of ownership. Darn things really went south without Jobs around.

If you don't mind me asking, why did you change from that iPhone 4/5/6 which withstood those keys so well and still sound good? I'm still using a device from the iPhone 4 era - not an iPhone though - which still works fine and continues to be useable as an 'outdoor' phone due to its smaller size and the fact that it is waterproof. I was only forced to get a newer device about a year ago due to the fact that the Swedish electronic ID app - without which it is getting harder and harder to interact with many government services - stopped supporting Android 4.4, otherwise that phone would have remained my 'daily' device.

It was a simple solution, really. They made the phones more expensive, as well.

That way, people took better care of the screens. As it should be.

Steve was wrong.

He was right, though. Plastic screens would've been a disaster, pocket or no pocket.

People got used to replacing them every year.

And Apple have been out-selling themselves for years.

So, the gravy-train factor is pretty high, one might say.

I mean, I say this as an avid junky. I've got a stack of iPhones in front of me from the very beginning, and on the basis of my .. pockets .. as well as an admission that I have changed my behaviour over the years to, literally, 'treasure' my thousand-euro pocket communicator, (without which for some reason life is difficult) .. and not scratch it up as much.

A good case helps too.

And in most other cases - I'd just buy another one anyway, if things got really distracting... I mean, this stack ain't getting smaller, yo.

No - Apple products have the longest life span. It's the cranked out Android generics which are replaced often. I'm not saying it's a good value for money, it may or may not be for different folks. But it just aint true that Apple products get replaced excessively.

My more than 8 years old Motorola Defy begs to differ, as does the equally old Ainol Novo tablet I bought around the same time. Both devices run Android 4.4, an older but still usable version for which new software is still produced. The Defy has a replaceable battery, the Novo does not but both still work fine on the original versions albeit with a certain loss of stamina (Defy: 3 days on a charge, Novo ~4 hours of actual use/about a week standby).

In other words, yes, you could and can get Android devices which last for a long time. I does not need saying that both the Defy as well as the Novo were far less expensive than the 'equivalent' Apple devices - where 'equivalent' means 'iPhone 4' for the Defy and nothing for the Novo as Apple at that time did not have a mid-sized (8" 1280x768) tablet.

> You don't see this level of care anymore

He also released several iPod's when easily scratched colored coating ...

I still think he changed to class for the feel, not the scratch-resistance.

Also, Steve was heavily involved in the search of glass strong enough, so it wasn't just him saying "Go get me glass! You have 6 weeks, I'll be waiting!"

Apple Card may suddenly accelerate to dangerous speeds. If Apple Card begins to smoke, seek shelter and cover head. Do not taunt Apple Card.

Still legal in 13 states, just like happy fun ball!

I would rather have a Happy Fun Ball Card, than this ..

Press release: Belkin releases CCARDFORCE InvisiGlass Ultra Screen Protection for apple card. $399.

THE NEXT GENERATION OF CARD PROTECTION InvisiGlass Ultra delivers screen protection like no other. Ultra-premium glass is chemically engineered to be even stronger than tempered glass. This added strength allows it to be precision-cut so thinly that it delivers a flawless purchasing experience. The top layer of the card protector is proven in testing to provide the highest level of scratch protection available, to keep your Apple Card looking and functioning like the day you brought it home.

I'm pretty sure Apple is just fucking with us at this point.

- They designed a $1000 phone that shatters when it's dropped.

- A keyboard that fails after a single crumb.

- A card that fails in jeans and leather.

I'm pretty sure they're aware of the real world, and intentionally building in the opposite direction as part of some great cultural experiment.

Honestly, I'm coming to the conclusion that a lot of the designers of these kinds of devices do not in fact live in the real world.

But then I wonder if the world I define as real, is really not just make-believe..

You mean you don't commute to work in a private air-conditioned bus to work in an all-white glass UFO?

Are there cards that don't?

I don't remember specifics as to what was making this card special (think it had something to do with financing), but I'm pretty sure the physical cards durability wasn't one of them (would've probably eye-rolled pretty heavily if so).

No one is concerned about durability of these cards. It's just funny that Apple has a "How to clean your Apple Card" guide for it. Credit cards and titanium cards aren't something new. Asking people to "gently rub their credit card with a soft cloth regularly" is laughable.


No, but there are no other cards produced by Apple. Now that Apple has a card, people have to complain, because Apple.

Now that Apple has a card, people who complain about its inadequacies have to be ignored, because Apple.

No, people have a reason to mock, quite rightly, because you're supposed to take care of a credit card.

I think the issue here is the definition of "damage." Think about this from a design company's perspective. They've designed a Beautiful Looking Credit Card. A credit card typically takes scuffs, scratches, wear and even tear from everyday use - wallets, pockets, bags and purses. You put the Beautiful Looking Credit Card in those places, and it'll get scuffed, scratched, worn, etc, just like all the others. But now, because it's designed as a Beautiful Looking item, customers are more likely to complain.

I mean, they made it to be "resistant". Now it's not...

The Apple Card is a relatively plain matt white credit card made of titanium, which was designed to stand out against other credit cards.

I wish they had some photos of the damaged cards. It's not like they have to hide the cc#. I have one coming soon and would like it to stay nice and fresh. I remember getting my first debit card from a local bank back in the 90s and it came with a protective paper sleeve which most people promptly discarded. That sounds like a simiple solution to this problem.

amazon has a pretty big selection. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=credit+card+sleeve

You want a case for your iCreditCard? That's what a wallet is, but it's not compatible with wallets.

Here's an example, apparently after two months of use.


That looks pretty much like any other card of mine after a couple of months.

In other words, not news?

Perhaps "white" is the last color you want to choose for the same reason.

Well, they are not usually made of titanium, or are they?

That looks good, I have a similar style card from a different company. Having it in my money clip for a year has it looking like a baby shredder tried to eat it.

Looks a better than a regular CC after that long.

Wow, that's far worse than I expected. It looks rusted almost, which is the exact opposite of what I'd want to be carrying around in my pocket.

I have a leather wallet. What material should my wallet be made of?

Apple's page says: Store your titanium Apple Card in a wallet, pocket, or bag made of soft materials.

What is soft wallet material other than leather?

The apple card dock. Its supposed to be amazing, but they are having technical issues with overheating so the release is delayed.

Paper wallets are fun and durable.

Suede is the winning choice, clearly

"Damage" is a bit of an overstatement.

The white will get discolored. I've got an all-white card from Simple, and yep, it's all scuffed up from my wallet. Who cares?

The Simple card isn't supposed to be a status symbol/flex though. The Apple card is very much intended to stand out and part of that is it's all white color.

I agree that damage is going overboard language wise, however, that’s what happens when the card itself is supposed to be designed to be distinctive. Anecdotally I’ve had people express interest in it because it looks nice.

Apple cares, which is why they wrote the support page article - they'd like users of the Apple Card to keep their cards pristine and white.

Ironically, it's this level of "caring" on the support page that is now causing them to be mocked (for good reason, I might add).

I do wonder if Ive leaving the company will cause this particularly perfectionist streak of Apple to die down a bit over the next few years. Wouldn't hurt, I think.

People who have an inverted sense of prestige from the use of credit cards. That's who.

It's really not a health or even all that smart community once you start thinking about it. It's almost like the Apple Card is a kind of peak travesty ... a card made of titanium (think about that), that has cleaning and care instructions, that has such sharp edges that it is cutting people; not to mention that it's a credit card, a signal that would tell people in a healthy society that "this person does not know how to manage money and therefore has to borrow money for basic daily things". The use of a credit card for anything but mid tier level purchases or where the secondary/ancillary benefits are useful, should make one not trust such a person for their inability to manage their finances. Think about it, credit to buy dinner and/or drinks. It should be a clear sign of untrustworthiness.

Yes, I realize that credit cards offer and obscure the reality of the matter through ancillary benefits that I also utilize on occasion. Those are not there though as the primary purpose of the card, they are there to obfuscate and obscure and mask through justifications and rationalizations, the use of the real reason that the financial institutions want you to use the cards, the credit feature that will rack up profits that are then also rolled into the cost of the goods you purchase. People don't realize that every credit card purchase drives up the cost of goods and services, especially due to the contractual agreements of payment processors that prevent different prices for card over cash use.

At the heart of it all, the whole credit card industry is a kind of con job monopoly by the very definition of the term: "an act or instance of duping, swindling, or persuading by deception." or a "trick of confidence", imbuing the target with confidence (in this case by tapping into the odd apple fan boy confidence through the shiny titanium apple card) in order to dupe them into using the credit card that will result in interest and fees and conversion arbitrage profits over n% of charges and balances; and all that through the forced monopoly of contractual limitation of competition of cash transactions.

I don't know about you, but if the free market/competition were not limited by this cartel of colluding payment processors (MC/Visa, mostly) I would use cash/debit if it meant I could save money (likely more than the cash back amount offered on credit cards). But that's precisely why they limit competition by cash

People use credit cards for almost everything because cashback is free money and so are 0% interest introductory period.

You act like credit cards are for the financially irresponsible, but IMO it's almost financially irresponsible to use cash. Why give up free money? Why ignore the time value of money when somebody offers you 18 months interest free?

Obviously there are significant repurcussions if you misuse them, but there are also significant benefits if you manage them well.

From Apple's Support Document on these cards:

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

Good think I use a money clip. Oh, wait

"Store your titanium Apple Card in a wallet, pocket, or bag made of soft materials."

I guess the solution is to buy a suede wallet to hold just the Apple card. Can't believe they haven't added that to their accessories...


Or put in another way, credit cards can be damaged by wallets and jeans. Apple recommends best ways to care for your credit card. I don't think the Apple document means their card is more susceptible to damage, if anything I imagine its far less so that plastic, but unlike other card companies who don't have to tell customers the obvious like other objects can scratch an object such as a card, apple has to since unlike other companies, apple knows people will immediately try to put it through stress tests because apple x product has x issue gets lots of ad views compared to other companies.

They had to make it white. You can adjust the thickness of the oxide coating on titanium to refract a wide range of colors - just not white.

The white (and the magstripe) is just a coat of something on top of the titanium.

Exactly. They could have picked any color other than white and had a nearly indestructible titanium dioxide coating.

Not for the magstripe, they couldn't.

But I haven't seen any complaints about the magstripe, just about visual blemishes.

The magstripe seems particularly prone to damage. https://i.imgur.com/Bg8yOKT.jpg

The focus of the complaints is the blemishes, which are worse on the magstripe.

Why they couldn’t cope with magstripe being a different colour to the titanium I don’t know.

And blood. I cut my thumb trying to get mine out of my wallet - I would like it if they rounded the edges a little.

I guess it wasn't enough that they cut your wrists when using their MBP, now they want you to bleed every time you pull out their card. I see a disturbing trend here. Who knew that metal has sharp 90º edges?

On a side note: This makes the thumbnail for TechLead's video review of the Apple card that much funnier (it's the card slicing through a steak)

This winter will bring complaints that it scratches windshields when you use it as an ice scraper, I guarantee it. Quite a few folks use plastic CCs for this in a pinch.

You're holding it wrong. (Sorry)

I'm ashamed I didn't think of that.

And... I'm considering grabbing some sandpaper and rounding the edges

Tin snips give a nicer finish with thin sheet metals.

Wait till they launch the glass card.

I personally don’t associate prestige or beauty with MasterCard.

It would be like Apple partnering with Buick, instead of BMW.

The only card I've ever seen places not take is MasterCard, which is funny given their slogan of it being everywhere you want to be.

Oh so many places don't take Amex. Funny enough, I run into more places that don't take Amex in the US than I do in Canada.

Huh, that's odd. Anecdotally, in the midwest US anyway, I've seen that VISA and MasterCard are nearly universally accepted. Anywhere that takes one takes the other (with some unique exceptions like Costco). Discover is the next most accepted, followed by AMEX.

What a vapid article.

Their card can be damaged?

Yes, all cards can.

The main thing is: is this more easily damaged than other similar metallic credit cards.

The article doesn't mention this at all.

Next up on the news:

X Product can be Damaged, Will yours be?

Then just write generic text with no sources, comparisons or data of any kind.

I'm reminded of modernist buildings, which looked nice and gleaming white the day they were built, and have looked old and shabby for decades since.

How long until folks realise that the real world is not a pristine white cube?

I agree, but there are some great exceptions. Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye still looks sharper and more modern than many new builds and it’s approaching 90. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villa_Savoye

It would be hilarious if they were to sell a case for the card too hahah!

I’m sure you’ll be able to get a case for your Apple Card to protect it or buy 3 years of Apple Care for $49 (there will be a $19 co-pay if Apple replaces your jeans or wallet, up to 2 accidents)

Another thing: metallic cards feel unnaturally heavy, I don't understand why would you choose them over the plastic ones.

BECAUSE they feel unnaturally heavy. It's a status thing. When you hand your card over to the person at the till, you feel important, because your card is metallic, instead of plastic.

Kind of like business cards in American Psycho:


Some people still aspire to behave like that.

Huh. I kind of get that. I guess a depleted uranium CC is close on the horizon?

1. Because they are cool aesthetically

2. Because they appear to be more durable (see thread, unfortunately).

Do they bend? I mean you can bend a plastic card and it will recover. I'm curious what titanium does though.

It probably bends, but I think most of the issue is with the actual finish of the card which seems to be flaking off or discoloring.

Titanium is very elastic.

It's a faux status symbol, much like gold coloured cards used to be until every card was gold. Then came platinum...

I for one am all for Wabi-sabi when it comes to Credit Cards, Cameras or iPods/Phones. The more, the better.

My wallet is leather but the credit card slots have a cloth material.

I better book a Genius Bar appointment to verify it is OK.

It would have been perfect if they made the card out of frosted gorilla glass with maybe a anodized alum rim.

.. and if it maybe had a next-gen tiny little chip thingy that still does something super Apple'y, but over your money instead of .. pics and things ..

Can't be worse than my bank card, thing gets mangled and chewed up by both ATMs and my wallet.

Do Apple make a sleeve for the card? I think there’s a market here for a 29$ sleeve.

Cant you order a free replacement card if you care so much about scuff and marks?


Literally every other card I have gets scuffed and marked in my wallet.

I've had my metal Chase Sapphire card for a few years now and it looks the same as the day I got it. I don't want a card that is designed to look good, but it's not designed to be used. This is just silly.

Don't buy white sneakers. Don't get a white credit card.

We live in such a throw a way culture; blemishes that develop in things we use are seen as gross, instead of the signs of significance, use and love they they should.

Unrelated to the OP's Credit Card discussion, but relavent to your comment on throw-away culture...I recently discovered the "Worn Wear tour" from Patagonia (https://www.patagonia.com/worn-wear.html). They have an instagram account with some really beautiful photos of heavily abused/loved garments that have been repaired rather than thrown away (https://www.instagram.com/wornwear/).

Worth looking at as a reminder that your clothes (and other things) tell stories about you. Getting rid of something because it's worn or damaged also gets rid of that story.

They say damaged, but that means cosmetically, I doubt it affects functionality, so yes you should be able to use it as any other card.

I can confirm. I have a metal Amazon Chase Card and it also still looks new after a few years of being stored in a leather wallet.

I mean, it's not designed to be used, really. The entire point of the Apple Card appears to be pushing NFC payments - it's why the physical card is optional, and gets you half the cash-back.

Then what's the point of having a physical card? Why would you give me something that gets damaged by carrying it around to use it? It would be as if a new cell phone would be "permanently discolored" from being in your pocket. If I can't put it in my pocket, then where?!

> Then what's the point of having a physical card?

Backup, and as I noted it's entirely optional.

> It would be as if a new cell phone would be "permanently discolored" from being in your pocket.

Your new cell phone can easily get screen scratches from other stuff in your pocket or jean rivets or whatnot, just like the Apple Card can. There's a brisk business in screen protectors.

> If I can't put it in my pocket, then where?!

You can put it in your pocket. If you're Jony Ive and care about the finish staying pristine, put it in a plastic sleve. If you're a normal person, use it until it's no longer usable, then request a (free!) replacement card.

Sorry, then why make the damn thing out of titanium? If it's purely for backup, give me some tried and true white plastic that's going to look fine after being in my wallet? It's simply silly to say "it's not supposed to be used" but also make it quite possibly the most aesthetically complex mass produced card in history. There is no reason it can't be changed to be more durable.

It's entirely possible the answer there is "because we're sitting on a quarter trillion dollars worth of cash and want to have some fun with this".

It would be fun if it didn't slowly turn into garbage simply from being in your wallet or pocket. A trillion dollar company has the resources to design something equally pretty that doesn't decay from simple exposure to the two things it's likely to be put in.

Sure, but aren't other cards designed for that? I mean, I really have to look to see the marks on my plastic cards. And none of my cards has, as in the Apple card, picked up stains.

It seems like the problem here is Apple's fetish for a pristine, minimal aesthetic not meshing well with the realities of how credit cards get used. And the "please don't use it normally" is a pretty classic tech industry, "No, you're USING IT WRONG". Which I've never understood. I mean, if I'm not making something for actual people to actually use, why would I be trying to sell it to them? I do plenty of just-for-my-own-entertainment coding, but I try not to inflict that on others.

My cards always pick up stains from leather and the foil on the numbers always gets scuffed away.

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