Apple is a technological powerhouse, and yet it is known for extremely long development times and slow releases. It notoriously sits on technology for months, sometimes years, before moving forward with a launch, whether it’s an AirTag or a foldable iPhone. While everyone else races to be the first to release the latest innovation, Apple sits back and shares what it plans to do, while letting others do it first.
And yet it is the industry leader with consistently high product adoption rates and an incredibly loyal following. But that’s because Apple isn’t really slow.
It is strategic.
The brilliance for Apple is not just its innovation ability, but its approach to strategically launching products, entering the market late – when in fact, it comes with the right timing. In doing so, it has become a unicorn with annual revenue of over $274 billion. It has done it over and over again, and this time it is doing it with the payment processing industry.
The concept of the Apple credit card is said to be the brainchild of Steve Jobs, which he wanted to create back in 2004. His approach was to create an iTunes credit card, where users would spend money and get free music any way they can get. Airline miles or points on other cards.
More than a decade later, Apple first entered the payment processing market with Apple Pay in 2015. The new-age concept of pay-through proximity appealed to many early adopters, but ultimately never took off in the mainstream market. The concept of tapping a card to make payments did not sit well in the minds of many and there was no benefit to using it.
However, Apple isn’t out to push for innovation as trivial as tapping instead of swiping. It’s also not looking to replace just the checkout process. It wants to end it, or at least end it the way we know it.
The future of register-free checkout is already in the works. Earlier this year, Amazon opened the first register-free supermarket in Connecticut. And this is not the first case of its kind. The future of in-store retail shopping will evolve into a checkout-free checkout process with no cashiers, no lines, no plowing. Just choose the products you want and off you go, where on exit the card reader will automatically pick up your products and your card information, just like the electronic toll collection system works like the E-Z pass.
And Apple Pay will be the first payment processing system to enable businesses to easily implement contactless payments.
But until the market picks up and adopts the concept of cashier-free checkout, Apple is only sitting on Apple Pay. But that doesn’t mean Apple is just sitting around.
In the meantime, it’s working to lower barriers to entry and increase the adoption of Apple Pay. And because many people aren’t ready to offer Apple Pay, Apple is offering the Apple Card—something familiar in the minds of consumers everywhere, and thus a product that’s widely accepted by the mass market. goes.
As more people acquire the Apple Card, the formerly foreign concept of paying through a tech products company known for computers, phones, and similar devices, becomes synonymous with Apple Payments. And with that, once Apple has its foot in the door, and a device in a consumer’s wallet, it can more easily increase the adoption of Apple Pay.
In other words, Apple Card is a marketing tool for Apple Pay. With a low barrier to entry combined with a clear and attractive value proposition, it gives Apple a nearly friction-free way to enter the market. And with an improved credit card and payment processing system designed to meet the needs of consumers and retailers both present and future, Apple has entered the — if not the — nearly $40 billion-dollar payments industry. In.
Apple takes its time to build familiarity in its products to drive market penetration and product adoption, in the same way, that Uber strategically lowers barriers to entry with its $0 marketing strategy. What we see with Apple – and other unicorns – is that perhaps it is not slow and steady that wins the race, but slow and strategic that wins the race. The most successful companies aren’t wasting time looking for one-time, short-term victories, but are taking their time to become champions from time to time.