The adoption of mobile devices for POS transactions is exploding worldwide, as retailers and consumers alike get more accustomed to retailers asking for payment on mobile devices. According to new research from IHL Group, shipments of new mobile POS device shipments are expected to grow more than 95 percent worldwide and will surpass 108 percent growth in North America in 2014.
"The move to mobile POS in certain segments is radically changing the face of retail and hospitality, particularly mall-based retailers," said Greg Buzek, president of IHL Group, a Franklin, Tennessee-based retail market research firm. "The number of devices used by Department Stores, Apparel and Shoe stores in particular will nearly triple this year."
Mobile POS began as a smaller retailer phenomenon in widespread adoption but has quickly been adopted by larger enterprise organizations, according to IHL. In addition, the impact on traditional POS installs locations varies widely by retail segment — with greater adoption in segments that include apparel and less in those segments characterized by high-volume consumer goods.
"Apple had first mover advantage, particularly when Square provided an easy-to-use credit card reader that would work with any iPhone or iPad," said Buzek. "But the larger enterprises predominantly use Windows for the POS; and thus, Microsoft Windows 8 and also more ruggedized devices have a much greater opportunity against Apple as the devices are adopted across hundreds or thousands of stores and must integrate with existing systems."
According to IHL's Mobile POS Vendor Database, 47 percent of total mobile POS shipments in 2013 worldwide were iOS devices, with Android at 33 percent and Windows 8 at 12 percent. The differences are in growth rates. iOS is expected to grow slower than the overall market for 2014 (due to tough comparisons), while Android (+104.6 percent) and Windows 8 (128.4 percent) are expected to grow at a much higher rate worldwide. Further, in North America, Windows 8 devices are projected to grow 183.9 percent.
Some other key highlights include the following:
- Apple has a dominant share in mobile POS today at 39.9 percent, but Motorola Solutions, Hewlett Packard, and MICROS are showing the greatest shipment growth potential in 2014, in some cases tripling the growth rate over the previous year.
- 64 percent of current mobile POS devices are in a form factor of less than 5 inches in screen (phones). The move in 2014 is much more to the "phablet" and tablet size. In North America, 64.6 percent of all new mobile POS will be on phablet or larger screens in 2014.
- Both consumer-grade and rugged devices are seeing strong growth worldwide, but price and device lifetime expectations vary widely by retail segments.