“Yes, there are separate devices like Estimote’s beacons that can use Bluetooth LE protocols to act as a beacon, and Apple is using separate, specialized iBeacon devices that look like small silver rectangles tucked under shelves in some stores. But some of the iBeacons deployed in Apple stores are not specialized hardware at all, they’re just regular iPads or iPhones that have been configured as iBeacons,” Panzarino reports. “According to estimates by Creative Strategies Analyst and Techpinions columnist Ben Bajarin, an estimated 170-190 million iOS devices are currently capable of being iBeacons — that is they have the right hardware and are running iOS 7. That number could swell to 250M if holiday sales of iPhones and iPads are strong.”
Panzarino reports, “This will be the next big frontier for indoor mapping and retail, and Apple has an enormous — possibly insurmountable — head start because of how forward-thinking it was with Bluetooth LE hardware… Apple, by rolling out hundreds of millions of units capable of being both users and active transmitters, has positioned itself to be the de-facto standard… This isn’t Apple rolling out beacons in a few of its stores. It’s Apple rolling out potential beacons in every store that has an iPad — and there are hundreds of thousands already out there. Now, when a retailer makes a decision about tablet kiosks or signage, they’ve got the incentive of a hyperlocal advertising or customer service system built right in. Lest we forget about Apple being a hardware company: this is going to end up selling an absolute ton of iPads.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s Next Big Thing™ arrived in stealth mode right under everybody’s noses.
Apple turns on iBeacon to guide shoppers at 254 U.S. retail stores – December 6, 2013
Bar deploys Apple’s iBeacon to give patrons free access to Newsstand magazines – December 4, 2013
Macy’s becomes first retailer to deploy Apple’s iBeacon for in-store presence – November 20, 2013
Beyond retail: What’s next for indoor location tracking with Apple’s iBeacon – November 15, 2013
Apple’s location-tracking iBeacon is poised to explode across retail faster than anyone can imagine – October 25, 2013
Attention, retailers: With iBeacon, Apple has figured out mobile marketing – October 11, 2013
Apple’s iBeacon to deliver completely interactive experiences for fans at MLB stadiums – September 27, 2013
Apple’s amazing iOS 7: Three game-changers hidden in plain sight – September 26, 2013
Apple’s brilliant iBeacons system will enable purchases, contextual marketing, automated check-ins and much more – September 14, 2013
Apple’s NFC killer: iOS 7′s iBeacons – September 11, 2013
iBeacons may prove to be Apple’s biggest new feature for iOS 7 – August 29, 2013
Apple v. Android: Bang per watt – Apple’s massive advantage – August 13, 2013