Apple stores to go cashwrap-free; media player sales going flat?

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple Inc.'s retail shops will be some of the first to drop dedicated cash registers almost entirely when the company expands on-the-spot payment system, according to ifo Apple Store. Meanwhile, a study suggests handheld jukebox sales may be flat from this year onwards.



Apple to drop cashwraps in most stores



Shoppers who appreciated Apple's handheld payment systems during the holiday rush can now look forward to encountering the method all year round, ifo Apple Store says in a new report.



First brought out as an experiment to cope with a deluge of customers in November 2005, the system has proven successful in shrinking long checkout lines; by using handhelds from Motorola-owned Symbol Technologies, Apple's floor sales clerks can accept credit card payment wherever the customer happens to be and have an e-mail receipt sent out.



The move has saved paper and reduced the average waiting time for a purchase at the company's stores, prompting the company to expand the system beyond the few months of peak holiday shopping, the report claims.



Most of Apple's stores will scrap dedicated cashwrap stations altogether with the move, shifting tasks that can't be handled by the Symbol handhelds to computers at Genius Bars. Flagship stores such as Apple's Manhattan-area locations will continue to include cashwraps to cope with demand.



The transition should be complete within a few weeks at every location affected by the switch.



Analysts: media player market to peak in 2008, help Apple



The market for handheld music and video jukeboxes is set to finally level off this year but may play into Apple's hands, according to a new report published by iSuppli.



Research by company analysts indicates that world revenue for portable media players grew just 8 percent in 2007 and will shrink further still this year to 3.5 percent. The situation may only get worse: sales between 2008 and 2011 are expected to grow just a single percentage point, the report claims.



Analysts at iSuppli assign blame both to inexpensive players, which reduce the income from each unit sold, and from a market which is increasingly likely to use its cellphone as a music player instead.



However quickly the market for non-phone devices grows, Apple may stand to reap the benefits, the analysts note. In a stagnant industry, Apple's existing control should let it survive where others fail, snapping up customers from floundering rivals. The marketshare lead should also buy time for Apple while it shifts attention to the iPhone.



Archos takes a shot at Apple TV with new media hub



With the Consumer Electronics Show beginning this coming Monday, companies are already announcing their devices ahead of the event -- some of which are likely to challenge Apple.



A premature leak from Archos began the comparisons on Thursday. The Archos TV+ mimics the Apple TV media hub but promises features lacking from Apple's first-generation device, including web browsing, direct downloads, and video inputs for TV recording.



The Archos device is also less costly than its competition and should sell for $250 with 80GB of storage -- double that of the 40GB Apple TV, which sells for $300. A $350 version will supply 250GB of space versus Apple's $399, 160GB media hub.



Nonetheless, the victory may be relatively inconsequential: a recent study by ABI Research claims that the Apple TV is leading a weak industry and that most such devices have failed to gain much attention from the buying public.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    1) I wonder when Apple will use the iPod Touch for their on-the-spot payment system. An in-house device that plugs into the Touch's 30=pin connector and allows for secure CC info to be sent wirelessly. They have to be working on it; I'd think Jobs doesn't like the current WinCE device they've been using.



    2) The iPhone and the rumoured video rentals will keep Apple ahead, IMO.



    3) HP is releasing one too. This looks to be the year Media Extenders start to become popular. I just hope Apple gets rentals and the other companies figure out how to make their devices work as seamlessly as the AppleTV. No one has a killer device yet.
  • Reply 2 of 47
    ipeonipeon Posts: 1,122member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Analysts: media player market to peak in 2008, help Apple



    Research by company analysts indicates that world revenue for portable media players grew just 8 percent in 2007 and will shrink further still this year to 3.5 percent.



    Geez. What a mind warp. Peak in 2008, grew 8% in 2007, will shrink to 3.5% in 2008.



    Yes I get it, it will only grow 3.5% this year compared to the 8% growth from last year thereby peaking in 2008.



    Anyway, hogwash I say. That market is still in it's infancy.
  • Reply 3 of 47
    djames42djames42 Posts: 298member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Archos takes a shot at Apple TV with new media hub



    I have to admit that I love my Archos 704. It's not a replacement for my iPod, but it complements it well. My wish would be for this Archos TV to have a built-in docking station for the portable video players (I already have one, but it would be great to de-clutter my entertainment center).
  • Reply 4 of 47
    jonyojonyo Posts: 116member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    1) I wonder when Apple will use the iPod Touch for their on-the-spot payment system. An in-house device that plugs into the Touch's 30=pin connector and allows for secure CC info to be sent wirelessly. They have to be working on it; I'd think Jobs doesn't like the current WinCE device they've been using.



    Minor note: Although the current units Apple's retail stores are using are Symbol hardware using WinCE for an OS, the POS application layer is a custom Apple thing designed in-house. It's pretty easy to use, too. Until recently, I worked in an Apple retail store, and dealt with them all day. They're total life savers over the holidays, keeping tons of customers happy and the store relatively line-free.



    I suppose Apple will eventually want to use their own HW and OS/SW for POS, but it made business sense to improve the POS experience in the stores right away, without waiting for a lengthly device development cycle.
  • Reply 5 of 47
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iPeon View Post


    Geez. What a mind warp. Peak in 2008, grew 8% in 2007, will shrink to 3.5% in 2008.



    Yes I get it, it will only grow 3.5% this year compared to the 8% growth from last year thereby peaking in 2008.



    Anyway, hogwash I say. That market is still in it's infancy.



    I think more people are using phones for the same thing though. There might still be a solid market for it, but the reasons to have separate devices have diminished a little.
  • Reply 6 of 47
    mchumanmchuman Posts: 154member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Archos takes a shot at Apple TV with new media hub



    OMG look at the remote on that thing. Makes me nauseous. I'll keep my apple tv, thank you. If Apple adds web functionality, I'll use their sleek wireless keyboard.
  • Reply 7 of 47
    What normal person in the USA uses the term: "cashwrap-free"?

    What does this mean in English?
  • Reply 8 of 47
    jonyojonyo Posts: 116member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by McHuman View Post


    OMG look at the remote on that thing. Makes me nauseous. I'll keep my apple tv, thank you. If Apple adds web functionality, I'll use their sleek wireless keyboard.



    Unfortunately, there's no bluetooth hardware in the AppleTV, so using Apple's wireless BT keyboard won't be possible, even with a software change. Unless the thing will accept a BT dongle in the USB port in the future?
  • Reply 9 of 47
    jonyojonyo Posts: 116member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post


    What normal person in the USA uses the term: "cashwrap-free"?

    What does this mean in English?



    Hehe...It's manager-speak, something those who've worked in retail will recognize. "Cashwrap" is called that by the managers because that's where we "wrap" the sale. It's part of a whole big long sales-ish thing I had to listen to when I first started working there. Pretty dumb. I'm no high-energy über salesman, I'm a tech geek, so it's no great surprise that I'd leave sooner than later.
  • Reply 10 of 47
    ipeonipeon Posts: 1,122member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    I think more people are using phones for the same thing though. There might still be a solid market for it, but the reasons to have separate devices have diminished a little.



    Exactly. A media player is a media player. Combined with another device or not, it's still a media player. To say that revenue for portable media players has peaked implies that this market is on its way out. Alarmists love to create fear and doubt.
  • Reply 11 of 47
    What the heck is a 'handheld media player' (or audio/video jukebox, or whatever)?



    Does my 5G Video iPod qualify? Or, my iPhone? If 'no,' why not? If 'yes,' is it really possible that the market for products such as these is likely to grow at only 3.5% next year?!



    Sounds to me like geek-speak nonsense (almost as weird-sounding as the store manager 'cash-wrap' crap).
  • Reply 12 of 47
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    What the heck is a 'handheld media player' (or audio/video jukebox, or whatever)?



    Does my 5G Video iPod qualify? Or, my iPhone? If 'no,' why not? If 'yes,' is it really possible that the market for products such as these is likely to grow at only 3.5% next year?!



    Sounds to me like geek-speak nonsense (almost as weird-sounding as the store manager 'cash-wrap' crap).



    I don't think geeks would be caught dead using stuffy terminology like that. I think it's an analyst-speak or appleinsider-writer-speak. What was wrong with "checkout counter" or "cash register"? Even Point of Sale is better.
  • Reply 13 of 47
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    So if you want to buy something you don't find a cash register you find a salesman?



    Like any time when you have multiple queues, customers will not necessarily be served on a first-come-first served basis (e.g. if you end up in a slow line), which is potentially unfair. This could end up detracting from the Apple retail experience.
  • Reply 14 of 47
    vinney57vinney57 Posts: 1,162member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    So if you want to buy something you don't find a cash register you find a salesman?



    Like any time when you have multiple queues, customers will not necessarily be served on a first-come-first served basis (e.g. if you end up in a slow line), which is potentially unfair. This could end up detracting from the Apple retail experience.



    Er... have you been to an Apple store? Don't worry, it works very well.
  • Reply 15 of 47
    vinney57vinney57 Posts: 1,162member
    Portable media players peaking? I'm sorry but that is utter horseshit.
  • Reply 16 of 47
    leave it to Apple to rename a "Cashier". cashwrap?? hmmmm



    Funny those portable thing also depend on the floor people as well. One time i asked about a product in my hand, the answered. I noticed the hand held and asked if she could cash me out, but she said it 'wouldn't be fair' and made me go stand in the cashier line Nice, eh?
  • Reply 17 of 47
    scottibscottib Posts: 381member
    I worked retail clothing in high school and college in the 80s, and the counter where the registers, bags, sensor removal equipment, etc. were located was called the cashwrap. It's retailer speak - not unique to Apple.
  • Reply 18 of 47
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,581member
    Cashwrap is a retail term, not unique to Apple. Cash register and gift wrapping.



    I'm not a big fan of ditching it; people expect to go to a register to queue when they need something-- a self-service mentality. The roaming employees feel like far too enthusiastic commission-based salesmen scattered throughout the store in their current layout: there is no focal point. Department stores can pull it off in a big space, but the mid-size and small format Apple stores are just too crowded and need a center.



    Hope they either move to bigger stores or look at a redesign.



    (the other problem is that this layout makes the Genius Bar look too crowded-- like lots of people are having problems.)
  • Reply 19 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    So if you want to buy something you don't find a cash register you find a salesman?



    Like any time when you have multiple queues, customers will not necessarily be served on a first-come-first served basis (e.g. if you end up in a slow line), which is potentially unfair. This could end up detracting from the Apple retail experience.



    I thought the same thing- I don't know how many times I have waited patiently for a salesperson's attention when some tard runs up yelling about what they need as if I am invisible (not to mention the person the salesperson is already talking to). Then when I finally do talk to the salesperson that same tard has something else to say and butts into our convo as if they are the only person in the world. Has to be my biggest pet peeve ever.
  • Reply 20 of 47
    jonyojonyo Posts: 116member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post


    Cashwrap is a retail term, not unique to Apple. Cash register and gift wrapping.



    I'm not a big fan of ditching it; people expect to go to a register to queue when they need something-- a self-service mentality. The roaming employees feel like far too enthusiastic commission-based salesmen scattered throughout the store in their current layout: there is no focal point. Department stores can pull it off in a big space, but the mid-size and small format Apple stores are just too crowded and need a center.



    Hope they either move to bigger stores or look at a redesign.



    (the other problem is that this layout makes the Genius Bar look too crowded-- like lots of people are having problems.)



    Weird, the wrap part of the cashwrap term is about gift wrapping? I never knew that. Hmm, I think retail professionals (IE- managers and lifers and whatnot) must just be used to the term, since I used to hear it all the time at various places, all of which had nothing resembling gift wrapping!



    Believe it or not, all Apple retail positions are NON-commission. None at all, to my knowledge. I'm not including the managers, I don't know if they get bonuses for stores meeting goals or anything like that. However, when you're part-time, as almost all of the "Mac Specialists" are, how many hours per week you'll get is based on your sales. (Mac Specialist is a fancy name for all generic retail person positions other than the genius bar people, managers, and back room inventory people. Oh, and the guys with extra official training to do the One-To-One sessions, called "Creatives", although they're just Mac Specialists when they're not doing a One-To-One session.)



    Well, it's not EXACTLY sales, as in the raw dollars of stuff you sell, the more important part is add-ons for computer purchases, namely Applecare, One-To-One memberships, .Mac subscriptions, and Pro-Care memberships. Even the Mac Geniuses are expected to push the add-on stuff during genius bar appointments. This is the stuff that makes the store look good to the corporate HQ.



    It makes sense from a corporate standpoint I guess, since the stores are not independently owned. The people running the stores don't have anything to do with driving bodies into the store with decisions on advertising or what to sell and not sell, or even how the store is going to look, etc. ALL of that comes from Apple HQ.



    As a Mac Specialist, if you sell plenty of computers, but fail to get people to add on stuff too much, they screw you by giving you fewer and fewer hours. An employee who's good at making customers happy and knowing their stuff, but not good at the bottom line of adding stuff on, well... most of them will eventually go away, since they can't get enough hours. This is how they weed out people who aren't really in the "SALESperson" mode enough to positively influence the store's "numbers", but without having to fire them, since they wouldn't officially have proper "cause". Nope, instead they make you want to quit. It's all pretty jacked up. The main reason I get pretty pissed when I think about this is the way this process is all unspoken and yet understood once you've been there awhile. They ("they" being the managers and the training materials) act like the non-commission aspect makes Apple Retail all laid back and easy-going compared to other retail positions, but that is all complete BS, they're on your butt about your numbers DAILY. Yes, I'm saying all this from personal experience working in an Apple Retail store for about 1-1/2 years before getting pushed out by dropping my hours down to nothing for not having good enough "numbers". I'm probably breaking some NDAs by even saying this stuff, who knows, but whatever, I'm not too concerned at this point. I'm done with tech jobs entirely for now, and trying to get into teaching.



    Ok, sorry, rant over! We got waaaay off topic didn't we? Sorry about that!
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