Apple has announced it will launch its own credit card in August, as the company continues to reposition itself as a services and software provider.
The announcement by the CEO, Tim Cook, came on an earnings call on Tuesday after the company’s third-quarter earnings beat predictions, sending shares up 3% in after hours trading. The tech company reported a quarterly revenue of $53.8bn, higher than its previous estimate of $53.39bn.
Apple saw its services sales rise as it continues to expand beyond the phones, computers and other hardware that made it famous, increasing funding to services such as Apple Pay, Apple Care, and Apple Music. Sales of the iPhone made up less than half of Apple revenue in the third quarter for the first time since 2012.
The Apple Card will include a user interface that shows customers where each purchase was made and the amount of the transaction. It will break down purchases into categories including entertainment, food, and shopping, and include cash back incentives rather than a points system.
The company saw a bump in overall revenue despite iPhone revenue being lower than anticipated – $25.99bn compared to an expected $26.54bn.
“This was our biggest June quarter ever, driven by all-time record revenue from services, accelerating growth from wearables, strong performance from iPad and Mac and significant improvement in iPhone trends,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.
Apple’s earnings report comes as big tech companies are facing more scrutiny and threat of regulation from US legislators. On 23 July, the US justice department announced it was opening a broad antitrust review into major technology firms including Facebook, Alphabet’s Google, Amazon and Apple.
The investigation comes amid calls from lawmakers, including Democratic presidential candidates such as Elizabeth Warren, for tech companies to face more scrutiny.
Meanwhile, Apple has been touting itself as a privacy-minded tech company, announcing an anonymous “sign in with Apple” log-in system that the company has positioned as an alternative to Google and Facebook platforms that sell tracking information to advertisers.
“Battle lines have been drawn over how internet services should be provided, and as the iPhone becomes a smaller part of Apple’s business, winning with its privacy positioning will become vital,” said Kevin Joyner, director of planning and insight at the analyst agency Croud.
Apple said it expected its fourth-quarter revenue to be between $61bn and $64bn.