According to Bloomberg, the iOS POS deployment move comes as Lowe's tries to counter its biggest rival, Home Depot, which uses rugged -- and now Google-owned -- Motorola Mobility devices. It hasn't been confirmed what POS solution Lowe's will actually be using in conjunction with the iOS device, but a Bloomberg photograph of the device seems to suggest it will be the same iPhone POS jackets that Apple uses in its retail stores. That device is the Linea-Pro.
For POS VARs that are interested, Infinite Peripherals is the company behind the Apple-sanctioned barcode and credit card-reading add-on. Sadly, there's no direct way to access and resell the device; customers can either buy into the device via a Infinite Peripherals partner that has developed a POS app around the unit or they can find an Infinite Peripheral developer partner and work on building their own custom app for use with the device.
The bigger picture for the channel: iOS devices are becoming more and more accepted, thanks to a small learning curve due to product familiarity and the intuitive nature custom-built iOS POS apps can provide.
Case in point: the Long Island Rail Road. Recently, the Long Island branch of the Metropolitan Transit Authority rolled out a small trial of iPhones running ticketing software, likely to be given to conductors for on-train ticketing. Mix this news with NFC and phone-based payments we've been reporting will come sooner than later, and it might just be enough evidence for POS VARs to see the paradigm of mobile payment solutions is shifting, thanks to consumerization of IT.
Rugged solutions likely will be useful for a long time to come, but POS VARs should definitely have some iOS payment tricks up their collective sleeve, as the trend is more than likely to catch on across more retail locations.