There’s no question that Apple’s (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad dominates the tablet space right now.
The tech giant maintains a 75% marketshare, while runner up, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), has only captured 20%.
And although I still believe that Android could eventually gain ground in the space, Apple’s not giving up the crown anytime soon.
But what Apple doesn’t realize is that the success of the iPad in the retail sector could indirectly boost adoption of Google’s Android OS. You see, earlier this week, a London-based startup launched an Apple-compatible device that actually put Google at a distinct advantage.
Let me explain…
iPads… the Portable Cash Registers
The iPad is starting to invade retail stores.
That’s because with the proliferation of portable credit card readers, more retailers are using iPads as mobile cash registers.
Currently, Square and Intuit (Nasdaq: INTU) are leading distributors of credit card readers. They provide a free card reading device, and retailers shell out around 2.75% of every transaction.
But a new reader, developed by retail management software company, Erply, is preparing to edge them out – and catapult Android adoption at the same time.
On Monday, Erply launched a point-of-sale attachment for the iPad and iPhone.
The device encrypts credit card data, minimizing the risk of a security threat. That, in turn, allows the company to lower its transaction fee to 1.9%. Additionally, the company provides a software platform that allows retailers to track real-time data and inventory analytics.
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You see, Erply’s device is the first NFC-enabled portable card reader to hit the market. That means it can accept payments from smartphones equipped with an NFC chip.
That’s good news for Google and its Wallet mobile payment application and growing lineup of NFC-equipped phones.
But that’s bad news for Apple, since it has failed to produce an iPhone with an NFC chip. Which puts Google in an interesting position to boost adoption of its NFC-enabled Android smartphones thanks to Erply’s new reader feature.
As an unintentional Google vs. Apple middleman, Erply already boasts over 20,000 retail partners. And since 8,000 of them are using iPads hooked up to standard point-of-sale terminals, the company already has a substantial market for its new portable NFC attachment.
Erply-Equipped iPads Will Fuel Google’s NFC Rollout
Just imagine the grin on the face of Google CEO, Larry Page, as customers swipe their Android smartphone over Apple’s iPad cash registers!
Because as mobile payments kick into high gear, and as more consumers want to pay using their smartphones, Google’s NFC lineup will push Android adoption in the right direction.
Like Erply’s CEO says, “As technology changes, we are giving consumers the ability to pay for items the way they want to, whether it is with cash, credit cards, or NFC technologies in phones.”
So Apple better hurry up and add NFC to its iPhone before people jump on the Android bandwagon.
Bottom line: As the iPad gains popularity in retail locations across the globe – and Erply’s NFC capabilities entice businesses to use its technology – the rampant success of the iPad lineup could indirectly lead more consumers into Android’s welcoming arms.