After over a century of use, the cash register is on a decline while Apple is pushing its products such as the iPod Touch to replace it.
According to the Dallas Morning News, throughout the United States businesses are abandoning the traditional cash register. Apple has begun to take advantage of this situation. They did that by having their iPod Touches and iPads equipped with special software and accessories for businesses to use as point of sale machines. They set an example of how well it can work by eradicating all registers in their own stores in 2007. Since then they have had great success and begun a new trend in retail sales.
The Rise And Decline Of The iPod As A Music Device
The iPod came out in 2001 and was a huge success; it completely revolutionized the music industry and made CDs obsolete. Millions of people bought it and its subsequent models. After the release of the iPhone in 2007, sales of the iPod had begun to decline dramatically. That decline has leveled off to about $1 billion in sales a year for Apple. Don Reisinger writes on Fortune.com that the iPod Touch is now towards the end of its maturity stage in the product life cycle.
Apple’s new marketing strategy in the iPod Touch’s maturity stage is a market modification and some product modification. This is a wise decision, especially since the iPod is still generating over $1 billion in revenue. They have used this situation to their advantage by creating new uses for their iPods. No longer are they seen as mere music devices. But also as mini-computers that stores can easily and quickly use to assist customers. This shift will surely extend its maturity stage and delay its complete phase-out.
iPod Touch Replacing Cash Registers
The moment Apple showed the world that checking out customers could be mobile, registers began to become outdated. Not long after, other retail businesses decided to try out bringing the checkout process to the customers. Sears Holding Corp is already using iPod Touches and iPads in 360 of its 800 stores. Nordstrom has given iPod Touches to all of their staff at their 117 stores to use for checking out. Currently, J.C. Penny is in the process of rolling out iPod Touches out to their 1,100 stores. Their goal is to give every single one of their salespeople one by May of this year.
In order to maintain this new market for their iPods, Apple must continuously keep the device current and release updates. They have already made functional modifications to iPod touches. They have done that by creating secure software and attachments to make them able to process credit card purchases instantly. Though iPod usage has declined among end users, their usage may have a major revitalization. Especially if more and more companies decide to abandon the traditional cash register and adopt the Apple device.
Many of Apple’s competitors are already seeing this trend and are trying to jump on it as well. But Apple has a huge advantage over its competitors. Millions of people are already familiar with Apple’s mobile operating system. If Apple accentuates that fact and reminds businesses of it, they will probably be able to save businesses millions of dollars in training costs. Especially when compared against the cost of adopting a new or uncommon system.
The Future Of The iPod Touch
Apple’s market modification of the iPod Touch is already changing the way retail stores interact with their customers. If their strategy becomes a huge success, the demise of the iPod may happen much later than what most people had anticipated. They also have the iPad and iPad Mini that could become the preferred mobile device for retail shops. Right now though, many companies are very cost conscience and an iPod is much cheaper than either of the iPads.
The market modification of the iPod Touch could be credited to the sudden decline of an over one-hundred-year-old machine. So far it appears that Apple may have made another genius marketing move. They could completely revolutionize another industry, retail sales. Despite the iPod’s decline in popularity, Apple has found new ways to keep it extremely profitable through smart market modifications.