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Linux POS Shipments Getting Clobbered, But Russia, China and Latin America Rare Bright Spots

March 3rd, 2011

In the U.S. and Canada, the POS operating system shipment percentages were: Windows Vista/Windows7, 32 percent; DOS and legacy Windows, 25 percent; WEPOS/POSReady, 19 percent; Windows XPe, 14 percent; 4690, 5 percent; Linux, 4 percent; Windows CE, 1 percent; and “other,” 1 percent.

While the global report sees that 6.9 percent increase in worldwide POS growth, the U.S. figure is an even more modest 5.7 percent increase, IHL reported. Why? Buzek sees PCI “still driving a great deal of the replacements,” but it’s being countered by a much greater force: mobile. “The iPad is becoming a Guttenberg moment for retail,” Buzek said, although he added that it’s really only being felt in specialty chains now.

Buzek sees lots of mobile activity with back-office functions, but he only sees extensive mobile checkout—where it will soon erode even more POS marketshare—in specialty chains. Possibly, he said, in a handful of departments (such as electronics) in more generic chains, but not throughout the store.

“Specialty Stores, which include everyone from Home Depot and Best Buy to Limited and Wet Seal will see the most POS. I just don’t see it as POS in frontend for Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreen, Kroger or 7-11 unless it is fixed or docked,” Buzek said. “In these other segments, devices will be used by department registers and managers as employee assistance devices, not primary or replacing POS.”

If defining specialty that way, Buzek sees mobile-replacing-POS adoption as “very widespread in all forms of Specialty Stores, Department Stores, Restaurants, and other hospitality venues for POS.”

Buzek elaborated on who he thinks will—or won’t—end up using an iPad-like device for checkout.

“Mobile POS will be big in any environment where high speed, front-end checkout is not paramount. Put simply, if the environment currently utilizes a bi-planar scanner for speed, mobile is not a good candidate for POS because of throughput concerns,” he said. “In those environments, we are far more likely to see the consumer’s own mobile device purposed for POS so there is no line backup in any part of the stores.”


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