Just weeks after rolling out a ground-breaking iPod touch point-of-sale system (POS), Apple may be preparing to commercialize the system and generate some revenue from its creation. Coincidentally, the move comes on the same day that the founder of Twitter announced a possible competitor to the iPod POS, which will allow small businesses to easily and quickly accept credit card payments using a mobile device. According to insiders, Apple has been deluged with inquiries about the POS system, which is comprised of a sleek, custom-designed and manufactured shell that surrounds the iPod touch, and also incorporates a barcode scanner and magnetic stripe reader. The hardware links to custom-programmed software that streamlines the process of taking cash, credit or debit card payments for merchandise.
Since the debut of the iPod POS , inquires have been coming from all directions, including from end-user small businesses, larger chains and system integrators. Until now, Apple’s response has been that the iPod POS is a proprietary product, unavailable for sale.
But now, tipsters say, Apple retail executives have asked the retail store business specialists to collect contact information from anyone who inquires about the iPod touch system, apparently to create a database of potential customers if Apple decides to commercialize the product.
In an unrelated move, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey today announced his new start-up Square, which will market a magnetic strip reader dongle for the iPhone, along with advanced card processing services for merchants. Dorsey says that merchant sign-up will be easy and inexpensive, and the service will include on-screen customer signatures, photo verification of the buyer, and e-mail receipts with advanced features (map, coupons, rewards). Dorsey calls the new system “disruptive” and hopes to compete with PayPal and other similar payment systems.