Apple’s Franken-touch EasyPay iPod’s swarm in to obliterate WindowsCE machines.

by Mike
Posted November 3rd, 2009 at 1:52 pm

Playing with fire and behind enemy lines are two ways to objectify Apple’s dependence on WindowsCE based mobile POS stations up until this point. Said machines are old, bulky, and downright pieces of digital *insert expletive here*. Apple who loves to keep it close to home has been working for some time now on retrofitting 3G iPod Touches running OS 3.0 with various pieces of accessory add-ons in able to move towards a mobile POS system that does away with the antiquated WindowsCE junk. Looking at the picture above, while not as svelte as your traditional Apple product, this retro-fitted mobile workhouse has quite a few things packed under the hood of this new two-piece case. The extra size is needed to accommodate a magstrip swiper located on the back of the device, a bar-code scanner on the top of the case, and an extra battery built into the case itself to provide considerable more runtime than stock iPod Touch units.

Most transactions are fully mobile with exceptions for transactions using multiple cards, travelers checks, and processing returns for cash. For those such instances, customers will have to revert back to the standard POS at the front (or back depending on how you look at it) of the store. Debit transactions on the other hand are not fully mobile either as customers who start such a transaction on an iPod POS will have to navigate back to the register to complete their purchase and then back again to the iPod variant to match the order. I’m not exactly sure how that is very intuitive, but we’ll see how it plays out in person. Finally, signing for credit/debit purchases takes a slightly different approach than has been seen so far on Apple’s mobile platform. The new change includes a stylus for signing names to complete purchases. Really, I can’t blame them. Apple has done a tremendous job on the multi-touch/stylus free front. But signing your name on a digital screen with a finger is anything but graceful or good looking with the resulting signatures often appearing as chicken scratch. The specially designed stylus will give customers some peace of mind when met with these mobile stations. It’s worth mentioning that while there isn’t any external branding on this new accessory, I would hedge on Incase as the provider as this particular case looks awfully similar their Power Slider case available for iPhones. Anyone see the same?

This change was a long time coming. Using the enemies technology and products day in and day out was a slap in the face to Apple and their customers. Let’s just hope Apple did their homework as a national pandemic of crippled stores due to faulty iPod Touch POS stations won’t exactly look favorably on the platforms ability to scale. Just sayin’…


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