New Lightning Connector Throws a Wrench In Our Plans

September 12, 2012

Given that you’re reading this, you exist on the internet and have undoubtedly heard Apple’s iPhone 5 and 5th gen iPod Touch will come equipped with the new Lightning connector, replacing the older dock connector that’s been around for quite some time. While the connector sounds intriguing and should provide more space in iDevices for things like radios and laserbeams, it does put a hurt on an already growing mobile POS platform.

We sell some great mobile barcode scanners and mobile card readers, adding more whenever there’s time, and many of these use the dock connector. For some of the products, such as the MagTek iDynamo and Mobilogics iScan, the adapter should work to provide a stop gap until the peripherals are updated, but it does extend out the peripheral and increases the risk for damage to the iPhone or iPod.

However, there are some sled devices, most notably the Honeywell Captuvo, that currently lock in around 4th gen iPod Touches. In these instances, the adapter won’t fit, limiting your options to hoarding 4th gen iPod Touches until they also adjust the connector.

While this development is far from the end of iOS-based mobile POS, it does hamper the growth of this relatively new market. Many of our customers have had tremendous interest in using their iPhone or iPod to manage inventory or ring up customers, and we’ll just have a short span of time while peripheral manufacturers catch up. This is the first time for me, though, where Apple’s strong secrecy around new products has directly affected my work.

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