One POS Vendor Goes, Another Arrives and Guess Who

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

With Hypercom’s acquisition underway, it looked like there would be just two POS behemoths: VeriFone and Ingenico. Of course, there are electronic cash register and ePOS system vendors like NCR, IBM, HP and others out there, too. But a certain Cupertino company located at One Infinite Loop is piloting its iPod-based POS systems at some Old Navy stores. Its future in the POS business could be bright.

If you’ve ever purchased something at an Apple store, you have likely used Apple’s portable in-store POS system and appreciated its convenience. Now the company is exploring turning its POS gear into a product line. And why not? After years of experience at its own Apple stores and its manufacturing cost advantage for iPod Touch devices, why shouldn’t Apple turn it into a product line? No doubt there are plenty of ISOs and merchant acquirers who would kill to resell Apple gear right away.

Three or four years from now, it’s not hard to imagine a far more sophisticated Apple POS product line that brings in NFC-enabled hardware and exercises NFC patent claims Apple has submitted over the last couple of years. And it won’t just be hardware. Apple’s not building its enormous North Carolina data center for downloading MP3s via iTunes. Apple recognizes that cloud services are where we are going. Combing iPods (all other things “I”) with the cloud will give the company powerful back end capability in the cloud and the elegant customer experience at the edge.

If Apple likes what the pilots produce, someone is going to lose market share.

The Apple PoS system prints customer’s receipts wirelessly to stationed printers throughout the retail stores (like at Apple stores) and apparently some employees are wearing mini-printers on their belts. According to some Old Navy employees the Apple POS system is perfect for the holiday sales rush as the device’s portability cuts down lines and is simply more efficient for everyone.

Click for the jump and a picture of the device in use:

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