Apple to take iPod touch point-of-sale system commercial?

“Just weeks after rolling out a ground-breaking iPod touch point-of-sale system (POS), Apple may be preparing to commercialize the system and generate some revenue from its creation,” ifoAppleStore reports.

“According to insiders, Apple has been deluged with inquiries about the POS system, which is comprised of a sleek, custom-designed and manufactured shell that surrounds the iPod touch, and also incorporates a barcode scanner and magnetic stripe reader. The hardware links to custom-programmed [Mac OS X] software that streamlines the process of taking cash, credit or debit card payments for merchandise,” ifoAppleStore reports.

“Since the debut of the iPod POS , inquires have been coming from all directions, including from end-user small businesses, larger chains and system integrators,” ifoAppleStore reports. “Now, tipsters say, Apple retail executives have asked the retail store business specialists to collect contact information from anyone who inquires about the iPod touch system, apparently to create a database of potential customers if Apple decides to commercialize the product.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

29 Comments

  1. I haven’t seen one in the wild yet, but I was amused that I bought two iPhones from someone tapping on a monochrome WinCE device. If they make it easy, I could see retailers getting interested in using themselves.

    Microsoft offers a POS device, not “point of sale” … but the other POS. (Ok, too easy.)

  2. When I bought my iMac on Black Friday I paid by CC using one of the new devices. Much faster. I worked in an Apple Store 3 years ago and the WindowsCE machines were a nightmare. As a customer it took three times as long for an employee to ring up your sale. I could tell the employees were thrilled to be rid of the old devices and finally using the iPod touch. If Apple markets the new point of sales devices, they will make a killing.

  3. I don’t know about HUGE, but it sounds like a nice little piece of business for Apple. It will be a challenge to get retailers to change POS systems (it’s a big expenditure, not only in hardware software costs, but also integration to existing information systems), but once thye change, they are not likely to change again in the near future.

  4. I think there is a big market for this. Having sold hand held WinCE-based devices, I can say the biggest nightmare is – supporting WinCE devices. You pretty much lose all your profits supporting the WinCE garbage. So, this little device is just what the enterprise needs. It will put a serious dent not only in retail, but in warehouse and inventory management if Apple allows it. Symbol, Honeywell (HHP), Datalogic, etc. will be in for a world of hurt if this comes to be.

  5. Do you have to sign and if so where?

    Yes. iPod touch has a large touch screen, and Apple has designed a special stylus that will work with the capacitive screen of iPhone/iPod, so the customer can use the stylus to sign, if signature is required by the store/merchant processor or anyone else.

    Another company has announced similar point-of-sale hardware/software/backend solution (http://squareup.com/). It is clear that the platform is ripe for the proliferation of POS offerings. I have no doubt, each and every one of them will be far superior to what WinMob/WinCE is offering today, in every way.

  6. Apple would be foolish to keep this little gem to itself. If released to the wider market you’d see it proliferate very quickly into the retail, restaurants, car rental ecosystems very quickly. And Tiger is right. Apple needs a dedicated group to handle this business with proper sales and support staffing.

    This device is the sharp point of the spear. When retail chains deploy hundreds of these units throughout their network, what equipment do you think will provide the backend support? Apple servers and software of course. Jump on this, Apple!

  7. Yes, combine Filemaker, Apple iPod touch and the Mac mini server into a complete POS system.

    Absolutely. If Apple (or their point-of-sale subsidiary) could put bundles like that together that for a few thousand bucks, and combine it with great service and support, it could be huge for upstarts and small businesses.

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