updated 11:40 am EDT, Thu May 22, 2008
iTunes greeting cards?
An Apple patent application, newly published by the US Patent and Trademark Office, suggests that the company may be interested in expanding the reach of its gift cards. Most of its iTunes cards use generic images, concentrating primarily on music; future cards, however, could depict specific artists, albums, games, movies and TV shows, something it has already begun in a limited fashion with its $50 cards. Two of these present montages of albums and TV shows.
More original however may be the carriers for the gift cards, which have traditionally only served as packaging. Apple's filing makes specific reference to the possibility of greeting cards, in which the gift card is hidden inside, and the front uses a more personalized message. The concept is designed to make cards "appear more gift like," and "make the recipient feel better about their gift," leading to increased sales overall.
The patent application was originally submitted in 2007, and attributes James Roberts of San Francisco as the inventor.