Apple is killing the cash register

“Ka-ching! The cash register may be on its final sale,” Anne d’Innocenzio reports for The Associated Press. “Stores across the country are ditching the old-fashioned, clunky machines and having salespeople — and even shoppers themselves — ring up sales on smartphones and tablet computers.”

MacDailyNews Take: Apple iPhones, iPod touches, and iPads, to be precise. You can say it, AP. Really, it’s okay to report the actual truth.

“Barneys New York, a luxury retailer, this year plans to use iPads or iPod Touch devices for credit and debit card purchases in seven of its nearly two dozen regular-price stores,” d’Innocenzio reports. “Stores like smartphones and tablets because they take up less floor space than registers and free up cashiers to help customers instead of being tethered to one spot. They also are cheaper: For instance, iPads with accessories like credit card readers can cost a store $1,500, compared with $4,000 for a register. And Americans increasingly want the same speedy service in physical stores that they get from shopping online.”

“J.C. Penney, a mid-price department-store chain, said the response by customers has been great since it started rolling out iPod Touch devices late last year in its 1,100 stores. The goal is to have one in the hands of every salesperson by May. The company said that about a quarter of purchases at its stores nationwide now come from an iPod Touch,” d’Innocenzio reports. “Stores now are taking their cue from the success of Apple Inc., the nation’s most profitable retailer, which went to mobile checkout in its stores in 2006.”

d’Innocenzio reports, “Take upscale handbag maker Coach, which is using iPod Touch devices at half of its 189 factory outlet stores. The company also is testing them in a handful of its 350 regular stores… Urban Outfitters, which operates more than 400 stores under its namesake brand, Anthropologie and Free People, announced in late September that all sales eventually will be rung up on iPods and iPads on swivels located at counters. Urban Outfitters had given iPod Touch devices to its sales staff two years ago… Nordstrom handed out iPod Touch devices to its staff at its 117 department stores nationwide in 2011. And by late last year, it did the same for its 110 Nordstrom Rack stores that sell lower-priced merchandise.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Attention shoppers: Why Apple’s iPad mini may be the retail world’s new best friend – November 9, 2012
Apple granted U.S. patent for point of sale system and more – October 9, 2012
Lowe’s equips employees with 42,000 Apple iPhones – September 8, 2011
Restaurants embrace Apple’s revolutionary iPad – December 29, 2010
Old Navy piloting Apple’s iPod touch-based Point Of Sale systems – December 2, 2010
a href=””>iPads boost restaurant’s wine sales 11% – September 17, 2010
iPad-based point of sale cash register systems already deployed in Japan – August 31, 2010
Sydney restaurant replaces menus with Apple iPads – June 05, 2010
First look: Apple’s new iPod touch-based EasyPay checkout handhelds – November 3, 2009
Apple patent app describes wireless restaurant ordering from devices – December 27, 2007


    1. JC Penney has gotten a bad rap lately. I’d like to see the customers come back. They have good merchandise at unbelievable costs and the stores are clean and well-laid out.

    2. This is a global phenomena. Did Apple plan it?


      ITs here to STAY.

      I witnessed this the month iPAD was available in the Philippines. And they were one of the last to get the original iPad in Asia.

    1. And the custom software to tie it all together is free, right?
      And the layer of security and maintenance of private wi-fi are free, right? And the price of deployment and Tech Support is free, right?

    2. Another important point is Squares very low transaction cost and immediacy of payment, compared to the costs of standard bank or credit card company provided card reader equipment.

    3. Major retailers like JCP are not using Square. They negotiate far better per transaction rates and also want heavier duty card readers than the Square. Just look at the case of an iPhone at an Apple Store.

    1. You mean, poor Dell, HP and the other PC box makers that have been counting every PC box used as a cash register as a PC. They have been counting cash registers, time clocks, shipping scales, … as PCs for a long time now. I am sure someone will or has already made an iPad interface to a cash register by now. You can charge the iPads up there and work the cash draw when needed.

      I have not seen an IBM PC or laptop for about a decade now. I believe Lenovo or someone else bought the IBM PC line. They did not want to end up where Dell and HP are falling into now. Apple’s roadkill.

      1. Lenovo bought out IBM’s ThinkPad line. They are one of the few successful Chinese computer companies who don’t leach of other company’s work. The ThinkPad continues to be very successful, actually growing in market share while the rest of the PC business continues to fall off. One of my brothers considers it the only PC laptop worth buying. The poor guy is stuck on PCs for work.

        1. If I was forced to use Windoze, i’d still buy a mac, at least I would have solid hardware.

          I see no reason to prop up another computer maker..

        2. OK, OK. I would too, of course, but hopefully you got the point I was trying to make – if I HAD to buy a PC laptop (not “use Windoze”), the ThinkPad would be the best bet.

  1. I asked the cashier / barista at one of my café haunts how she liked using her iPad cash register. She said it worked OK, except the Internet connection was sometimes flaky. I assume she was referring to its connection with the credit card companies.

    Let’s hope her iPad’s credit card connection program uses encryption. The café’s router is in-the-clear, with no encryption, a very bad thing these days. I may try sharking the air waves next time I’m there. 👿

      1. Exactly. And the barista’s iPad was using the same WiFi.

        Seriously, I doubt any credit card company would be using anything but encryption, IOW SSL/HTTPS.

        And no, I wasn’t serious about sharking the place. Someone apparently got a bit upset that I would say such a thing. I said it to point out that sharking wide open WiFI is dirt easy.

  2. NCR, Amex, and others sell a POS kit for an iPad than includes an iPad stand, cash drawer, and POS printer. Actually a pretty good deal. Add in a $399 iPad gen 2 and you have potentially saved $1,000’s on each POS. Par and Panasonic POS registers seen in a lot of restaurants cost about $6,000 each… and contain hard drives, fans, and a lot of other hardware that can go bad – included terrible screen calibration issues.

    I’ve seen a lot of iPads in bars and restaurants and more and more retail stores.

    This is a great opportunity.

    Plus Amex and Intuit offer incredible swipe fees compared to a lot of the traditional bank merchant fees.

    1. ‘POS’ in jra’s post refers to ‘Point Of Sale’, not that other acronym.

      I’ve had merchants swear at me if I presented them with an Amex card. Amex is well hated in retail.

      Also, it’s now common practice to treat debit card swipes as ATM swipes. This saves the merchant swipe fees, shoving the cost onto the customer. How kind of them! Thankfully, my most excellent bank no longer charges ATM fees, anywhere. That’s good business. 😀

      1. I have never had a debit transaction charged as an ATM swipe. That’s ridiculous. One of the benefits of a merchant taking a credit/debit card is that they are guaranteed payment, and the card provider takes the risk of non-payment. Much better for the merchant than taking a check.

        AmEx typically charges twice the fees and rate of VISA/MasterCard/Discover (Discover used to be higher too, but has come more in line to gain market share). That’s the main reason retailers don’t like AmEx.

      2. Jackasses who object to my Amex card don’t get my business again, ever. Charge my purchase as an ATM transaction? You want to see me come unglued? I’m the customer, remember? I don’t have to kiss anyone’s ass.

        1. I TOTALLY AGREE.

          Disrespect toward the customer and client is the rule these days, entirely self-destructive. I NEVER return to, or use the services of companies that screw me over. OR, if I am forced to use their lousy service, I protest the hell over it. That’s why I wrote two scathing reviews of Time Warner Cable behavior over at my ‘zunipus’ blog:

  3. Um… Apple kills cash registers as much as guns kill people. Guns don’t kill people… people kill people! Apple doesn’t kill cash registers… people kill cash registers! What tools you use to do the job is the person’s choice. Consumers make Apple products popular, not Apple. If people don’t like what Apple is making, then they won’t buy their products. If people do like Apple products, then chances are they will buy them.

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