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Apple to drop Win Mobile pay units for iPods?

updated 06:05 pm EDT, Fri April 10, 2009

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.

Under the plan, deployments would start in July -- the month after the company's Worldwide Developer Conference, where many expect a new iPhone release likely to trigger a sales rush -- and would continue until all stores use the system in September.

Apple began using the Symbol-made (now Motorola) EasyPay devices in late 2005 as a method of speeding up purchases by Mac Specialists and other store staff process sales on the floor. It proved successful and ultimately led to the company reducing or even eliminating the conventional cashier locations in some of its stores. In spite of this, Apple has encountered problems with the EasyPay's systems' tendencies to respond slowly and to crash, particularly during high-profile launches where the software affects the number of customers that can be handled in a short time span.

Switching to the iPod touch would not only reduce these issues but would be an important symbolic gesture for Apple, which has had to use Windows Mobile for its on-the-spot payments even two years after the iPhone was first introduced. iPods have already been in limited use as overflow for booking appointments through the Concierge system and for monitoring store performance, but without hardware support could never be carried regularly by store staff.

Windows Mobile has regularly been used in many industrial and retail devices in recent years both due to its support for custom hardware as well as its origins as an operating system for PDAs, while competing operating systems like BlackBerry OS and Symbian are built more specifically for cellphones.

By Electronista Staff


  1. DeezNutts

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008


    How so?

    Switching to the iPod touch would not only reduce these issues

    How the heck do they know that?

    Until they put it in service and it takes on a big launch they are simply 'guessing' that it will handle it.

  1. sribe

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2003



    I think it's more than a guess that they can build something that won't constantly lock up and crash.

  1. carloblackmore

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2005


    bride registries next

    VEry cool. Can't wait for stores and car dealerships to start using these for registry and showroom shopping.

  1. Salty

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Jul 2005



    You know the nice thing is this gives Apple another revenue stream, if it actually works out well with their stores they could move this over to allow other stores use the same system. I mean they'll have to do the work to make it secure anyway, so how much effort do you think it would take to get big chains like Best Buy, Sears that sorta thing to start using them. Great way to sell a few more Xserves and iPod touches.

  1. MacAssemble

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2008


    Already started!

    The Apple Store -Holyoke MA already uses the iPod touch. Every employee appeared to have one. When I needed to re-schedule a Genius appointment, they used their Touch to do that.

  1. LouZer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2000


    Re: how so

    What? You mean apple's past success with mobile me rollout doesn't instill confidence?

    Let's up they've learned a lesson and don't try a massive rollout vice a more controlled one.

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