Target replacing employee PDAs with iPod touch this summer


Target is in the process of switching its sales floor staff away from the old PDA and LPDA systems they previously carried to Apple’s iPod touch. The new iPod touch-based system is set to roll out to Target stores later this year, according to an internal newsletter the company sent out to employees.

In the memo sent out to staff, Target explains that its old PDAs and LPDAs that employees are currently using have “reached the end of their lifespans— and they’re running a crazy quilt of dozens of applications that have been patched together over the years.” The company notes that its Store Operations team ran tests to find the best solution and ultimately settled on the iPod touch:

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“Tests included putting more of our current LPDAs on sales floors, trying out a new LPDA model, comparing different brands of new devices, and allowing team members to use their own smartphones and iPods to help guests. With the help of our Target India team, they analyzed usage data and team member feedback on each option, and a clear winner emerged. Behold: the iPod Touch!”

Target employees will use the iPod touch to pull up product information and more when assisting guests, as they do now with the current PDAs in use. Other retailers, including Apple and Old Navy have already made a similar switch to the iPod touch in recent years.

The company is planning on rolling out the iPod touch this summer.


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  1. Gollum - 9 years ago

    And they will make good use of iBeacon too!

  2. Scott (@ScooterComputer) - 9 years ago

    THIS is why Apple needs to make a “phablet”. Personally, I think the “Next Big Thing” will be a 4:3 iPad Nano (or iPod XL, whatever Apple calls it). The iPod touch is too narrow, as will be the “iPhone 6 XL” (or whatever Apple calls it). 4:3 is a better form-factor for two-handed use, and presents more information to users with the time to stop and interface with an app. The iPhone/iPod touch is good for at-a-glance and on-the-go, not so great for longer-term information I/O (that’s where the iPad shines).

    Considering that AT&T and Verizon are both rolling out VoLTE services in the next few months, the concept of a “phone” is now dead. The differentiation between the iPhone and the iPod/iPad (the “Phone” part) is disappearing; all devices with a cellular radio will be capable of being a “phone”. A 6.5″ iPad nano with an LTE radio would kill it for commercial use (such as Target and Lowe’s/Home Depot) as well as educational use. I think it also would compete strongly (destroy) the Samsung Note in the consumer market. I could also see such a device doing very well in the restaurant space, for waitstaff.

    Apple’s primary differentiation between the iPhone/iPad form factor (fits and can be used with one hand) and the iPad, and the phone/tablet competition, is with the 4:3 screen. Android has strongly adhered to 16:9/16:10, and it simply isn’t as good as 4:3 except for consuming video. The 4:3 form factor is just better for larger, two-handed UX.

    • PMZanetti - 9 years ago

      Trust me, VOIP makes no difference yet. The overwhelming majority still don’t know or care, and will still gladly pay for cellular service, even if they make two calls a month.

      While you or I may be happy to have VOIP only, I promise you were are the staggeringly small minority…still.


Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.