Daily Archives: September 2, 2012

iPhone Self-Checkout. Wouldn’t that be Handy?

Okay, so I know that this doesn’t really have any relevance to New Zealand, and you’re probably all gonna be mad at me for posting this, but I thought this was quite cool, and can’t help but be a little optimistic for us to get the feature here. Mega-Store Walmart (the upgraded, American-version of The Warehouse) is running a trial of the new self-checkout for customers with iPhones. This allows for people to scan-and-go, kinda like what we have at Pak’n’Save, except with their mobile device.  Essentially, you scan the items as you place them in your shopping bag, while walking around the supermarket. This removes the need to scan them when you get to the checkout. Of course, it’s been ridiculed as “easy theft”, but what kind of self-checkout option hasn’t? Currently, the idea is working well, and Walmart are off to a strong start. I guess the idea is more popular over there, simply because of whatever-million people have an iPhone, whereas, over here, the figures probably aren’t as significant. Why don’t we do some number-crunching here? According to data gathered by ansonalex.com, there are 91.4 million smartphones in the U.S. And according to Jon Fingas, from Engadget, 32% of those users own an iPhone (as at May 7th, this year). So, that means that there are (and correct me if my math is wrong) approximately 29.25 million iPhones in use. That’s over six-and-a-half-times the amount of people in New Zealand. Now, with the information about New Zealand that I could scavenge, I found that there were about 4.6 million cell phones in use, back in 2008. New Zealand is in the top 10 countries for smartphone penetration, with 32% of all cell phones being a smartphone of some kind. Obviously they’re not all iPhones, and I would predict that the majority of smartphones in New Zealand are actually Android-based. But if we were to say that 100% were actually iOS, then we would have, based on the 2008 figure of cell phones, close to 1.5 million iPhones in circulation. So, as a recap to the mess above: U.S iPhones – 29.25 million NZ iPhones – 1.5 million iPhones (and that’s on the extreme end). Unfortunately, it would seem that we don’t really have too much of a client-base for an iPhone self-checkout system to work for us. But hey, you never know, maybe one day we’ll get … Continue reading

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