Anyone who has ever made purchases at Apple Retail Stores from 2005 onwards must have already used the EasyPay payment system, which runs on handhelds with Windows Mobile and doesn?t match Apple?s style at all.
EasyPay is a system that uses portable terminals to provide a more personal and flexible transaction service and, at the same time, eliminate the need for consumers to wait in lines of cashiers. The system also avoids wasting paper by allowing receipts and invoices to be sent to the customer's email.
For those who do not remember, it was this same slow system that ended up creating huge queues of consumers wanting to buy the new iPhone 3G until then.
With this problem, several questions arose as to why Apple did not adopt the iPhone itself as a portable device for carrying out transactions in its stores. At the time, the iPhone and iPhone OS were not able to support the necessary peripherals, such as credit card readers or printers of vouchers and invoices.
However, this whole picture should change soon, with the release of iPhone OS 3.0. With the arrival of the new system, Apple is expected to adopt the iPhone or iPod touch as the basis for its internal payment system.
Although Apple itself can develop its own application / payment system, it is more likely that it will use a customized version created by some developer. As the next system for iPhones and iPods touch offers, for the first time, support for third party hardware / peripherals via USB connection (with the dock connector) or via Bluetooth connection, it is believed that many will develop a solution that meets the demands of Ma .
Point-of-sale applications already exist on the App Store, such as the Credit Card Terminal, demonstrated in one of the last commercials created for the iPhone. With peripheral support on the iPhone OS, it is believed that several more will emerge.
Rumors indicate that Apple's plans to replace the EasyPay system with iPhones / iPods touch running customized point-of-sale software should start in July and be completed by the end of September. Ma's gadgets should contain, in one unit, ordering / payment solutions, store management and receptionist (concierge) application currently used on iPod touch to screen visitors seeking support and scheduling appointments.