updated 11:11 pm EDT, Fri May 9, 2014
Replacing modified iPod touch units used since 2009, more
Apple is currently in the process of replacing the long-serving, modified iPod touch units that have served as mobile Point-of-Sale (POS) units since 2009, now giving employees iPhone 5s units equipped to do the same job and more, according to reports. The iPod touch or iPhone 5s has a custom-fitting sled, not dissimilar to a battery case, that adds magnetic stripe and barcode scanning, and now includes RFID and chip card readers.
With the change has come a new version of the software behind it all, EasyPay, that offers compatibility with the new hardware as well as an iOS 7-inspired look and improved navigation. One of the biggest changes from the employee perspective is that the new sled offers better network connectivity, a keypad for dealing with debit cards that require PIN numbers, and doubles the battery life, according to a memo from Apple.
One possible motivation for the changeover is improved security of the units themselves. Presumably, the iPhone 5s units would be programmed to work by having an employee add his or her fingerprint utilizing the Touch ID system. At present, Touch ID is only available on the iPhone 5s, thus preventing thieves from walking off with a usable device.
The company is supposedly considering a name change for the EasyPay system, and has solicited Apple Store employees for suggestions. The new system also works better with a buyer's Apple Store app on their iPhone, which can now produce a bar code confirmation of an order that EasyPay-equipped Apple Store employees can scan with their own phones.