Handhelds carried by Apple Store employees.

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by ZiggyPastorius, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. ZiggyPastorius macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

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    #1
    I wasn't sure exactly what they were. Anyone know? Someone said it looked like a Windows Mobile device, but besides that being highly unlikely in an Apple store, it didn't look it was running Windows mobile. It'd be cool if someone could let me know.
     
  2. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    #2
    Well all the Apple Stores use SAP so it would need to be a Windows front end. Took a lot of work to get those things approved by all the banks for wireless transactions.
     
  3. belvdr macrumors 601

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    #3
    Interesting, but unless Apple is paying for their bill, I'd say they are choosing for themselves, and it could be Windows Mobile.

    EDIT: Nevermind, I was thinking cell phones, not like a handheld terminal.
     
  4. ZiggyPastorius thread starter macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

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    #4
    Perhaps you could elabourate a bit? Here's a picture:

    [​IMG]

    I know it's a bad picture, but it's the third device from the left (and by device, parts of the box).
     

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  5. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #5
    They're from Sequoia (one of my company's partners), and can run Palm or Windows Mobile OS's, and I'm sure also other embedded custom OS's/front ends. In the case of Apple, I'd bet either Palm or custom. As it's used purely as a POS, then the latter is most likely. I'll take a closer look next time I'm in a Store.

    The basic device is similar to a ruggedized Palm, and is pretty bare but can be accessorized with an MSR, printer, barcode scanner, extra battery packs, whatever. Most models have built-in IR and WiFi. They're definitely not unique to Apple. I seem them at Hertz (and other rental agencies), and other venues where a fixed POS is too cumbersome for the task.
     
  6. robanga macrumors 68000

    robanga

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    #6
    I would guess these are not Palm but actually Windows Mobile/Windows CE. 95% of the custom handhelds run on that OS now. Linux is starting to gain a bit of traction in this space.
     
  7. conshok26 macrumors 6502

    conshok26

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    #7
    I remember looking at the screen while the guy was cashing out when I just got my MacBook. I do remember seeing Windows Mobile on it and thinking "hmm that's funny."
     
  8. robanga macrumors 68000

    robanga

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    #8
    Yeah these are actually large markets, the industrial/retail mobile computers. Companies like Motorola (who purchased Symbol), Intermec, Datalogic, HHP and others are pretty big licensees of Windows Mobile.
     
  9. ingenious macrumors 65832

    ingenious

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    #9
    i've seen them; they're, ugh, windows mobile... or a variant. too bad they can't use an iphone with that nifty app that uses the camera as a barcode scanner...
     
  10. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #10
    Yes, they're Windows Mobile or CE.

    As someone else mentioned, there's a huge market in WM/CE handhelds, from surveyer equipment to field technician devices. Especially a lot of ruggedized devices. iPhones need not apply without an Otterbox or more.

    One of WM's advantages (and a disadvantage now) is that it was made to run with very limited resources (small cpu, display, RAM, ROM). And it has plenty of useful addons like Bluetooth printer drivers.
     
  11. Milfin macrumors regular

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    #11
    That's not true. Sap is the backend but the frontend gui can be custom. I would take a guess and say a web based gui like itunes.
     
  12. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #12
    I've just recently been to a Store and verified the ugly truth. They are, in fact, Win Mobile OS Symbols (not Sequoia--that's the VAR we work with) running a lightly-customized COTS POS app. The desktop POS's (generally an iMac) are running an Apple-developed app, though.
     
  13. robanga macrumors 68000

    robanga

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    #13
    In order to make a market for a mobile iPhone POS application you would need to have some way to make the device semi-rugged. Simply dropping the iPhone inside an otterbox for instance is not going to cut it. This is why WM is the OS of choice for vertical applications such as this, it can be licensed to all types of device makers.
     
  14. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #14
    It's not the OS here, it's the handheld. The Symbols are ruggedized, have a number of snap-on accessories, and can run WM, Palm, and some Linux variants. My company's POS/Activities app is sold & run on both WM and Palm versions.
     
  15. robanga macrumors 68000

    robanga

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    #15
    Right understood, but it is relatively unlikely that anyone is going to go for Palm Garnet at this point, isn't it? Which leaves you with Windows Mobile and indeed its all about the Handheld device. Now if a Linux variant or even (gasp) Apple would license its OS to only rugged device builders, well then you would have something :)
     
  16. motulist macrumors 68040

    motulist

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    #16
    I could be wrong, but I believe that was his point. When he said

    he meant that WM is the OS of choice because it can be licensed to all types of device makers, including manufacturers that make ruggedized handhelds. As opposed to the Apple handheld hardware which is not ruggedized, and the Apple mobile software which is not allowed to be licensed to other manufacturers so that one of them could put the Apple mobile OS onto a ruggedized handheld. So it's the Apple OS's fault because it is not able to be run on ruggedized hardware, as opposed to the WM OS which IS able to run on ruggedized hardware.
     
  17. ZiggyPastorius thread starter macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

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    #17
    Thanks, everybody :) That answered my question pretty completely.
     
  18. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #18
    I understood all that, my point was that for this use, the hardware was the driving factor, not the OS. It just happens that there are more readily available & customizable POS apps on the WM side currently.

    More ironically, the Symbols are produced by Motorola.

    I'm sure they could just install NewtonOS on them... :p
     
  19. tbrennan3613 macrumors newbie

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    May 27, 2008
    #19
    Apple Mobile POS Terminals

    Hello, The terminals used by Apple are Symbol PPT8846 Units with MSR's (Detectable Card Readers) and a extended life battery. This units have only WiFi and IrDA for communication. From personal use, these are nice rugged terminals and Symbol/Motorola has many more. (look at there site www.symbol.com). These units run Windows CE and Apple uses self-Developed software on these terminals along with there main (also self-developed) POS system. This is done for many reasons including the ease of use & integration. There is no chancde of these units running any other OS then Windows CE or Windows Mobile (Apple uses Windows CE for this). Also these have a Full Bar-code scanner (Laser, 1D), they do not use a camera as a scanner. The Apple Software is also not fully web-based...

    Post any questions.

    - Tbrennan
    BNET® Enterprise's
     

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