updated 09:00 pm EDT, Sat April 16, 2011
Apple to carry Square readers in stores
Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey's Square payment readers got a major lift this weekend after Apple started officially selling them in stores. Both the online Apple Store and its retail shops are carrying the reader this week, including in a new black color. The company confirmed that it would be the only one with a payment device in Apple's shops and that Apple was coordinating with Square on in-store seminars, TechCrunch said.
The reader costs $10 and includes $10 of Square credit to handle the first few transactions. Square may be breaking even or losing money on the device sales but is likely counting on the lifetime income from each reader and the sheer exposure to make up for the deficit.
Square has often been considered a showcase for Apple and was one of the primary examples in its iPad "Year One" video, showing how it could replace traditional payment machines. The company has grown to where it's now handling over $1 million in payments per day and 100,000 new sellers per month. It recently ran a Times Square ad that reinforced its fast growth.
The Apple retail exclusivity is a blow in spirit to VeriFone. The establishment payment processor already has its own system for iOS but has been losing ground to Square's cheaper and more web-focused system. VeriFone recently tried a scare campaign hoping to steer customers and financial institutions away from Square with little known effect.
It could also have incidental effects on Android. Although Square already has an Android app for its readers, the positioning would make it easier to pick an iOS device.