Casual observers of Apple will remark that releasing a credit card is out of character from Apple. I disagree as forming an opinion on this matter depends entirely on what you believe Apple is as a company. Is Apple a computer company? Services company? Product company? Technology company? In my view, and I’ve written extensively on this, Apple is a customer experience company. If you view Apple as a company, who strives to look for product opportunities where customer experience is lacking, and they have an opportunity to solve some pain points for consumers, then any product category is not off-limits. This certainly extends to technology, but technology is simply an ingredient of the overall Apple process.
I understand this take, but I think it’s reasonable to say that Apple ventures outside of consumer and pro technology are a new frontier for Apple. Microwaves generally have poor user experiences, as do toasters, so would it be totally expected for Apple to release the Apple Wave toaster this fall? How about fitted sheets? Or bookmarks? Or the million other things that generally are not good user experiences but we deal with on a daily basis?
I’m being a little facetious here, and I get the argument (Ben knows his stuff, after all). I guess I’m just more on the “this doesn’t feel like the Apple I love” camp for this one right now. Like I said yesterday, I hope this all goes great and it makes total sense and everyone is happy; I’m just not totally on board now.