Following gadget blogs is a great way to keep tabs on the latest and greatest things happening in the consumer tech industry. It’s also a great way to lose your mind on slow news days, like the one we apparently had yesterday. Do a quick Google search and you’ll find dozens upon dozens of blog posts bitching and moaning about Apple’s recent warning that leather and denim might stain the finish on its new credit card, which is now available to the general public in the US. Apple made a huge deal about the fancy design of its new Apple Card, and about the titanium it uses instead of plastic. Apple’s messaging is always very focused on design and quality, so bloggers are completely flipping out over the fact that the Apple Card apparently stains so easily that Apple had to issue a warning of sorts, along with care instructions that explain how to clean it.
Here are some examples: One of my favorite sites, Gizmodo, titled their post “Apple: Our Precious Credit Card Must Be Handled Like a Delicate Flower From Heaven.” Cute. One of my least favorite sites, New York Post, went with “Apple Card’s bizarre cleaning alert: Beware denim and leather” and included the subheading “It’s a delicate snowflake.” Get it? Snowflake. Because Apple is a liberal company. Hahaha trash.
There are hundreds more blog posts where those came from. Apple says leather might stain the Apple Card, which stinks because most wallets are made out of leather and that’s obviously where people keep their credit cards. Apple also says denim can stain its titanium card, which stinks because lots of people wear jeans made out of denim. It’s definitely a bummer, so aren’t all the whiny bloggers out there actually making a good point? This would be a pretty big issue, except for one small problem: Leather and denim will also stain every other damn credit card on the entire damn planet.
The problem with leather wallets is that most of them are made out of very low-quality leather. That goes without saying for cheap wallets, of course. But believe it or not, even many fancy wallets that cost hundreds of dollars use low-quality leather. This leather is dyed, of course, and the die can rub off on things over time. Combine that with the fact that dust, dirt, and lint often work their way wallets, and any credit card can easily get stained. Denim is dyed too, so the issue also relates to jeans.
This is not a new phenomenon and I really have no idea why it’s something all these tech bloggers have never heard of before. The rest of us who live on planet Earth, carry wallets, and wear jeans know that this can be an issue.
Here, take a look at a credit card I just randomly pulled out of the slim wallet I’ve been carrying forever:
It’s a Charles Schwab debit card and it looks like crap. Look at the line stained across the top, and at the stains and scratches all over the rest of the card. Oh, and this is a replacement card that I’ve only had for a year or so — check out the key card I use to get into BGR’s Manhattan offices:
I’ve had this one for many years and it’s made out of the same material as a credit card. It looks like it’s been run over by a muddy truck tire a few hundred times. It hasn’t… it’s been sitting in my leather wallet.
If you use a wallet that encloses your card in a pocket that holds it securely so it doesn’t move at all, and if you don’t take it out very often to use it, your plastic card probably won’t get stained. Neither will the Apple Card. But if you keep your card in a normal card slot with an open top and you use it a bunch, it will eventually stain. It’s not a big deal. It happens.
Do these people live on Earth? Credit cards are cheap pieces of crap. They’re not designed to last forever. They get stained, they chip, they crack, and the mag strips get worn down. This is not a new phenomenon and it’s something everyone knows — including whiny gadget bloggers chasing clicks.