Apple and Goldman Sachs: The messy partnership that led to Apple Card | Technology

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Given recent reports that Goldman Sachs is looking to bail on its partnership with Apple, I thought it would be interesting to do a breakdown of the increasingly messy relationship between the two companies. After forging their partnership in 2019, Apple appears to have thrived while Goldman Sachs has suffered.

Updated October 20, 2023 with new details.

The origins of Apple Card and Goldman Sachs

News of Apple’s partnership with Goldman Sachs first emerged in February 2019 from the Wall Street Journal. That’s the same news outlet that is now reporting on Goldman’s effort to back out of the deal and pass it off to American Express.

Apple announced Apple Card during its services-focused special event one month later at Steve Jobs Theater. The company also unveiled Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, and more during this event.

Apple Card launched to the general public in August 2019, allowing users to apply for the card and check their credit lines and approval status without a hard credit check.

A report a few months later revealed some early details on Goldman’s investment in Apple Card. By all indications, it was a successful launch, with Tim Cook touting during an October 2019 earnings call that it was the “most successful launch of a credit card in the United States ever.”

During that same earnings call, Tim Cook announced that Apple Card users would be able to finance iPhone purchases over 24 months with 0% interest. As the backing bank behind Apple Card, Goldman Sachs was on the hook for funding these loans. The new financing option launched to the public in December.

Allegations of Apple Card gender bias

In November 2019, however, there was a flareup of controversy surrounding Apple Card after allegations of gender bias emerged. Essentially, Apple Card users had noticed that gender…

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