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Apple ditched plans to develop a stock trading feature for the iPhone after last year’s bear market, sources told CNBC.The company was working with Goldman Sachs on the idea, but eventually pivoted to a high-yield savings account.Fear over user backlash if people lost money trading stocks led to the pivot, according to the report.
The world’s largest company was working with Goldman Sachs to develop the stock trading product and a launch was ready for 2022. But Apple eventually backtracked as it feared potential backlash from any iPhone users losing money in the market.
Instead, Apple and Goldman pivoted to launch a high-yield savings account, which has since amassed more than $10 billion in assets. Apple had already partnered with Goldman Sachs on other financial services, including its Apple Card and a buy-now-pay-later feature.
Apple began work on the potential stock trading feature in 2020, when stocks were flying and retail investors were flooding the market. The pandemic-fueled craze helped Robinhood open millions of investment accounts for retail traders.
One potential use case of the iPhone stock trading feature discussed by Apple executives included users being able to seamlessly invest extra cash directly into Apple stock, CNBC reported.
But the high-flying nature of the stock market in 2020 and early 2021 was undone as the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates to tame inflation. That helped spark a brutal bear market throughout 2022, with the S&P 500 falling as much as 30% at its low of the year.
While those interest rate hikes likely dashed Apple’s prospects for launching a stock-trading feature, it helped fuel the company’s decision to launch a high-yield savings account. That account currently offers an annual yield of 4.15%, which guarantees that its customers make money instead of potentially losing it.
Insider reached out to representatives at Apple and Goldman for comment. Goldman declined to comment, and Apple did not respond in time for publication.