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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Post My thoughts on Apple stores soon ditching Windows Mobile payment systems

    Saw this story on the interweb..

    Apple Tweaks Operations For Holiday Season

    The last three months of each year always bring a rush of shoppers to Apple’s stores, creating record revenues but also challenging the stores to maintain the “surprise and delight” that visitors have come to expect during the holiday buying season. This year, Apple will update its operations to reduce visitor confusion and streamline sales. First, Apple will drop the aircraft carrier-like T-shirts that are color-coded to indicate the employees’ skills. Visitors have reported that seeing orange, dark blue, light blue, medium blue and black T-shirts is simply confusing. Beginning soon, the entire store staff will wear the same color T-shirt, with that color changing from time to time. Next—and more dramatically—employees will ditch the current EasyPay portable computers made by Symbol Technologies, and will begin using an iPod touch with an advanced scanner accessory and point-of-sale (POS) software. First, the iPod touch scanner will allow employees to capture data from products that have multiple barcodes using a single pass, including the UPC, Apple serial number and product code, cellular IMEI and ICCI numbers. Second, the new set-up will allow employees to accept cash for purchases without hiking to a central register position. The switch to the iPod touch is made possible by this year’s V3.0 software update, reported by AppleInsider back in April, that includes support for external devices. It’s not clear if Apple has programmed its own POS software or is using an application from another vendor. Apple debuted the current EasyPay POS system for the 2005 holiday buying season. It’s been generally successful from Apple’s perspective. However, employees have voiced many criticisms of EasyPay over the years, saying it suffers from crashes, loss of Wi-Fi connectivity and sluggish operation. The EasyPay devices run a version of the Windows CE operation system, feature a black-and-white screen and require a stylus to write signatures or make menu selections. Update: Tipsters say Apple developed the POS software that will run on the new iPod touch devices, and also designed and had built the battery pack for the device.

    I wonder if the device in question is "The Squirrel" a device recently exposed to be developed in secret by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.

    The project was only revealed to be involved with Dorsey earlier this month, it was previously scooped as a nameless product by Engadget in August..



    Square iPhone Payment System turns your phone into credit card reader

    "Everyone and their uncle Steve uses WinCE terminals to execute cashless transactions these days, and while you'd expect Apple to remedy that right quick, the Square credit card reader has beaten it to the punch. Plugging into the headphone jack of either an iPhone or iPod Touch, the dongle takes a swipe of your card, the seller enters the purchase data and you do your best penless John Hancock on the touchscreen. After that, a receipt is delivered by email and the app retains geotagging data for each transaction. Spiffy, right? Well, there is a surcharge to pay, and it's still in early alpha testing in New York, but should it prove popular, there's no reason not to see this appendage make an appearance on Android or WinMo phones as well. Rest easy, Gotham, we're sure nothing could possibly go wrong."

    Could it be that a heavyweight of the business / tech world like Dorsey (who has a while ago quit the Twitter board of directors) has been working with Apple to bring a cashless transaction system to the iMasses? The only element of this scenario that dosen't seem plausible is the scanning ability, but maybe that can be supported wirelessly..

    ...anyone, feel free to correct me if you've seen news out there lately that will contradict this line of thought

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Chances Apple would rely on a startup to process billions from their retail chain: next to zero. Hence the reason they started with Microsoft - it was an established, well supported solution on the world's largest development platform. And it also gave them time to watch and learn before rolling their own. Which leads me to two thoughts:

    (1) In light of my 'next to zero' claim, guess which software Coles relies on to account for all its retail sales? Microsoft Access. The single client, $140 box version you use to buy off the shelf at Officeworks. Keeps the IT staff awake all night during the Christmas sales period.

    (2) It would be a huge move if Apple were to release the retail sales program/code. I have a client who owns four restaurants/cafes in the midst of a rebranding effort and is now contending with POS solutions. None of them are appropriate, they're all frightfully expensive and they all lock you into proprietary equipment, software updates and support. So when I suggested he look into the possibility for a solution that relies on iPod Touches (for staff) - and is open to customers with Touches and iPhones - all run through a Mac Mini Server and Airport Express his eyes lit up and said he would plonk down any amount for such.
    Trading Feedback: El Guardo

  3. #3

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    Looks like I was wrong..





    "Apple’s point-of-sale touches take advantage of OS 3.0’s hardware accessory support a lot. Each one will be wrapped in a large plastic case, which includes a barcode scanner up top and a card reader slot in the side, as well as an extra battery. The whole assemblage — iPod included — is powered through a mini USB port. Naturally, sales will be carried out with a custom iPhone app; not so naturally, credit card signatures need to be entered with a stylus, almost like you’re using Windows Mobile (OH GOD!). Or, you know, paper."

    First Look At The Apple Stores’ New iPod Touch Sales Terminals | Gizmodo Australia

    ...wonder if this will be available for sale to the public?

  4. #4

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    Apr 2008
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    Brisbane
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    Well, that looks particularly un-apple like!

  5. #5
    grfxninja's Avatar grfxninja is offline I am Ninja. You cannot see me!

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    umm… I think someone got a little carried away with the stock imagery…


    Click for full size - Uploaded with plasq's Skitch

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