It will be interesting to see how the iPhone (or iPod touch) will fare in the world of retail. All Apple Retail Stores have converted their antiquated and toublesome “Easy Pay” machines (Palm OS-based) to the iPod touch with special software.
Having used the old devices while working at the Apple Store, most people found that the Easy Pay machines were very frustrating becuase they were bulky, heavy and unreliable. Instead of fitting into your pocket, they had to be strapped on with a giant Velcro belt and holster. Those boys were so heavy they would actually make my pants droop!
As I said, the easy pay machines were unrelaible. The software was buggy and needed frequent rebooting. The batteries never lasted very long, needing frequent cradle recharges, even during a shift. Lastly, using the thin, plastic stylus was akward and required frequent re-tapping because the screens would lose seensitivity.
Putting an iPod touch in the hands of apple workers was a very smart thing. Now they just need to release the software and credit card reading hardware to the public. If businesses were able to purchase iPod touches along with the necessary commerce tools, Apple could have another HUGE market to take over. I bet there are many companies who would be interested in mobile check out devices.