Citing “Sources familiar with the rollout,” 9to5Mac reports that Apple is in the process of replacing the fourth-generation iPod touch units used by retail store employees as EasyPay mobile point-of-sale devices with the iPhone 5s.
Apple retail store employees first began using iPod touch units as an “Easy Pay” system back in 2009, replacing the Windows-based PDA devices they previously used. The device uses a case with a built-in magnetic stripe reader and bar code scanning functionality.
The upgrade to the iPhone 5s brings new features that includes RFID capabilities, as well as chip and pin card reading functionality and improvements for Passbook scanning. The new accessory used with the iPhone based system also integrates a keypad for entry of debit card PIN numbers.
it is unknown why Apple made the move to the iPhone 5s instead of the most recent generation of the iPod touch. The iPhone 5s does offer a speedier processor and more capable hardware. It’s not know if Touch ID plays into the decision at all. There is also the possibility the iPod touch could be nearing the end of its shelf-life, as Apple sold just 2.7 million units in the last quarter.
Apple has already deployed the iPhone 5s units to a number of U.S. stores, and plans a larger roll out in June.