Apple Retail Stores finally dump Windows Mobile-based checkout devices for iPod touch units

“Starting back in 2005, the company’s retail outlets began using EasyPay, a specialized PDA device built by Symbol and running Windows Mobile, after a pilot program validated the practice of using employees with mobile devices to speed checkout lines. Apple has pushed to expand the program ever since,” Prince McLean reports for AppleInsider.

“While Apple could build its own point of sale (POS) system from scratch based on the iPhone’s technology, doing so would be an expensive undertaking just for the couple dozen devices needed by each of the 225 retail stores. It would also result in a completely proprietary system that the company probably couldn’t successfully sell outside of a narrow niche of retail stores with similar needs. Devices like the EasyPay are open enough to allow for a wide variety of customization using Microsoft’s Windows Mobile software, even if the tools and the underlying software aren’t that reliable or desirable,” McLean reports.

“Instead of introducing a dedicated POS sibling to the iPhone and iPod touch family, Apple instead worked to expand the iPhone platform to suit the needs of developers. With iPhone 3.0, that includes new support for working with peripheral devices over USB through the Dock Connector and wirelessly using Bluetooth,” McLean reports. “Sources familiar with Apple’s plans say that the company’s retail stores plan to begin rolling out iPhone units running customized POS software with support for an external credit card reader unit as early as July…”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Since we knew what those EasyPay devices were running (POS describes it perfectly), we’re happy to learn that finally we’ll soon we’ll no longer have to feel slightly dirty when making purchases at Apple’s retail stores. We’re 100% Microsoft-free here, thanks. Now Apple’s retail experience will finally be pristine, too.

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