iPad POS reference generally either means a POS system that is 1) just on the iPAD, 2) on the cloud, or 3) there is actually a back-end computer/server supporting the hand held. The first one we don't recommend. The second one, many businesses are still reluctant to see what happens when the Internet is down. So the third option is what would make sense if someone wanted to go with an "iPAD" POS.
As for the iPAD system, we did some surveys amongst a variety of industries we serve to find out the underlying reason people ask for "iPAD" systems and found out that clients see them as convenient (specially during high volume times) and as cool. With some further research, we found that what they are looking for is not necessarily an iPAD system, but rather hand-held or tablet system that provides mobility. They tend to use the word iPAD to refer to wanting a "cool" hand held rather than actually wanting an iPAD.
Once there is a real discussion, several operational realities set it. Users realized that they would need a back-end system and naturally understood that with many types of businesses (i.e. chocolate, frozen yogurt, pizza, etc.) it is not practical to have an entire operation dependent on a single hand-held unit. The durability and stability of a POS terminal cannot be met with just an iPAD. Imagine having your entire POS system in the hands of a teenage employee running around the store. Then the owner starts thinking about all the other hardware they may need (receipt printer, scale, cash drawer, customers display pole) and the iPad becomes more of a romantic idea rather than practical.
However, to address this issue and still allow the store to add this cool feature, they get a full POS station and one hand held unit. An employee then can be walking around the store (especially busy times) and running transactions which are really being processed by the main system at the counter. So, in this case the POS station also acts as the back end. Two issues solved at once!
It comes down to this: the iPad thing is new and everyone wants it but iOS POS fall short in integration. To accommodate this trend, we have taken our POS software and placed it on a cool tablet PC (& soon with Android Tablet) and created an even better environment. Unfortunately, iOS based POS are not compatible with SQL databases, but instead (normally) run on Cloud Based Systems that store your data somewhere else. As stated above, we have also found clients hesitant to have their entire financial information just on the Cloud and most online POS have monthly fees.
As most business owners have realized, the idea of a business is more romantic than actually running a business. For now, the same is true of iPAD POS idea.
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