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If the iCard existed, Apple would market it exactly like this fake mock-up from Credit Card Compare that's getting passed around today. "It's the most amazing credit card yet," reads the copy, in the signature Apple font, on the signature plain white background, using the same web layout Apple uses to present all the latest and greatest iThings on its official site. And while it may look pretty real, the iCard is part of a very much made-up marketing campaign for Credit Card Compare, an Australian service that allows consumers to compare "key features," like fees and rewards and such. But imagine if the iCard was real!

Well, it probably never would be, at least not as a card. Why would the world's biggest technology company bank on old-school plastic? Mobile payments, you see, are the future. If anything, the iCard will look a lot like the iPhone, as Bits Blog's Nick Bilton once explained. Because of the popularity of buying things through iTunes, almost every iOS device is linked to a credit card — nearly 400 million of them, at last count. Others have suggested that Passbook, the app that hooks up with boarding passes and giftcards, could act as a nice segue for the company if it wants to get into the mobile payment biz, a space now dominated by the likes of Square, Google Wallet, and PayPal. "The genius of Passbook is that it isn’t stopping there. It is looking so far beyond the credit card that it's launching without any form of payments system in place, forgoing the credit card (for now) to grab control of the rest of the wallet," wrote Pando Daily's Nathaniel Mott

Alas, we might never see the iCard. But whatever the equivalent payments thing is, we can bet Apple will market it as "the most amazing credit card yet." 

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