Is iPad POS the future of Point of Sale Industry?

The simplest answer is NO. At-least not right now. Tablet POS and iPad POS is huge in Retail and Hospitality industry these days – everyone loves the idea of walking with a Tablet or iPad taking orders on the go fashionably. Considering the space and cost, they take up less space and typically cost less (well, we can argue on that) to deploy than a traditional POS terminal.

But underneath its beautiful story, an iPad POS or Tablet POS system may not be the practical choice for your retail or hospitality business. The factors of this review is to look at some major facts – Is it really that cheap to run an iPad POS system as they say? Is it suitable for my business? How do you know?

Reading some independent reviews of iPad POS systems – one of the common denominator of all facts are – “Low Cost”, then comes – “Amazing Features” and finally – “Scale-ability”

It’s not for you …

One thing we all don’t want to accept, is we spend too much on Apple Products. They have become a fashion product. iPads look pretty, trendy, but they aren’t necessarily intended for heavy commercial use.

If you are looking at setting up an iPad POS System in a Restaurant, bar – or in a kitchen – think twice. Can the iPAD handle the heavy use. Can a iPAD protector case fix this problem. iPad on a Wireless Network cannot compare to hardware that is designed to withstand the steady use, heavy use, heat and hazards of working in a busy Café, Bar, Kitchen or a Restaurant.

If iPad POS is your goal, congratulations! You are well on your way to shorter lines, faster checkout. But again, think of the equipment. How would you carry the iPad and keep it safe with you. How many times have you dropped your iPhone? Scratched your iPhone? Lost your iPhone? You will find yourself replacing them—a lot. iPads are popular with the general public. They are more likely to be stolen than a POS Terminals or POS Tablet specifically designed for retail and restaurant businesses.

Another Important Fact – Is that Apple products tend to be updated frequently, and many of the programs will only run on the newest versions. If you have let’s say a five-year commitment with your software provider, you should know ahead of time that you will need to replace your iPads at least once, not including any units that are damaged or lost. It’s likely that your new software will only run on the most recent generation iPad, so be prepared to replace your iPads every two years or so.

How secure is your online credit card processing using iPads? I will leave that for another topic.

Finally, a high traffic business in retail or hospitality industry would not survive on iPad POS system. Simply, an iPad does not have the capacity, processing power and features such like table service, kitchen order dockets, bump screens, scales, barcodes, power to handle thousands of inventory, etc.

Tablets and POS systems will continue to be used together, but it is important to understand the benefits and drawbacks before moving forward with just an an iPad POS system. It is a profitable business model to market an iPad Point of Sale system on a monthly software subscription – and not to take the responsibility of the important fact, which is the POS Hardware.