I don’t blame Apple for wanting customers who can impulse buy. But, at the same time, there are a lot of parents, consumers, and less well off people that don’t even want to have that option for the intended user. They want an iTunes Account that doesn’t have purchasing strings attached.
Now, there was a workaround. You could open a PayPal account and simply not fund it. Using that as a credit card nets you an iTunes Account without a credit card attached. But, that’s confusing… there are a lot of people out there that don’t understand what PayPal is. If you think I’m insane for making such an argument, you need to step out of your tech world.
So, Apple has been clear, they want you to have a credit card on your account… even if you just want free App Store apps. But, they have opened up a workaround… if you can say the secret word (or rather, go to the right page).
According to this quietly-posted guide from Apple, if you go to iTunes Store -> App Store, and download a free App Store app, you can then click the same Create iTunes Account button. Only, this time, the Credit Card registration field will list a “None” option. Now, if you go to the regular iTunes Store, and try to download a free song of the week, free sample TV show, or anything other than a free App Store app… you won’t have this option.
Apple, don’t be evil. People should always have the option to not provide a credit card (or, have to jump through monopoly-style hoops to start a blank PayPal account). But, I do want to thank Apple for showing me this lesson. It’s something I’ll be sure to not repeat down the road.