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.
Other alerts such as shipping, changes in order now available
Apple on Tuesday updated its Apple Store app for iOS, adding an ability to send notifications to users when they are eligible for upgrade pricing on a new iPhone through their carrier. The new version (2.6, free) also adds notification support for changes in orders, such as shipping or delivery notices. Previously, the program was able to track a user's order but only when the app was actually in use. Users can now opt for push notifications, as well as schedule Genius, One to One or Specialist appointments, order products for pickup or use EasyPay to buy accessories.
Gift cards to be compatible with Passbook, site now live
Apple has updated its Apple Store iOS app to add compatibility with Siri, and a new online portal for buying gift cards delivered by email and now Passbook compatible. In addition, the app now supports Apple's EasyPay system in Canada, France, Italy, Switzerland and Germany. The changes, implemented to make shopping easier in crowded Apple Stores during the holiday season, allow uses to buy and send Apple Store gift cards (which are distinct and not compatible with iTunes gift cards) to themselves or others.
Only handful of countries currently using app tech
Apple is rolling out EasyPay to its Australian retail stores beginning on Thursday, notes ifoAppleStore. The checkout service is integrated into the official Apple Store app for the iPhone, and lets people scan and pay for some products without even talking to a clerk. Although potentially increasing the risk of shoplifting, the service may nevertheless be worth it to Apple to speed up simple purchases so more complicated ones get extra attention.
Company ready to check upgrade status
Apple has enabled Verizon as a carrier option on its EasyPay retail system, an Apple Store worker tells AppleInsider. A photo of an iPod terminal shows both AT&T and Verizon as options when checking upgrade eligibility. Fetching data from carriers is necessary to offer the most commonly advertised iPhone prices, ranging between $49 and $299, since carriers make them possible via subsidies.
iPod-based retail tech to go on sale?
Apple is considering making its new iPod touch-based EasyPay checkout system commercially available, a report claims. The company recently switched to the Touch from older Windows CE technology, pairing it with custom software and a case that doubles as a card reader and barcode scanner. Sources say that Apple has since been approached by a number of parties looking to license the technology, ranging from small businesses up to major retail chains and system integrators.
Company eliminating Windows CE-based portables
Apple is reportedly developing a new checkout system based on the iPod touch, according to an ifoAppleStore report posted on AppleInsider. The "EasyPay touch" configuration consists of an iPod case integrating a barcode scanner, additional battery cells and a magnetic stripe reader. The hardware is paired with custom point-of-sale (POS) software.
Apple Dropping EasyPay
Apple will take advantage of the support for external hardware in iPhone OS 3.0 to finally replace the Windows Mobile-based EasyPay transaction handhelds at retail stores with iPod touch devices, sources speaking to AppleInsider claim. Once the new firmware is available, the company will reportedly give store staff iPod touch units loaded with custom point-of-sale apps as well as card readers to process the payments. They would also handle the store's Concierge, ordering and other store operations without requiring separate hardware.