Lowe’s to dish out 42,000 iPhones to employees

Tue, Sep 13, 2011

News

There’ve been no shortage of reports lately describing the myriad of places the iPad is ending up. From airplanes to football locker rooms, and even to Yale’s Medical School, the iPad is increasingly becoming a mainstay in any environment that has typically relied upon inordinate amounts of paper.

So let’s give the iPhone some love, shall we?

Bloomberg recently reported that Lowe’s, which runs a nationwide chain of home improvement stores, is giving 42,000 of its employees iPhones to help them answer customer questions and and register purchases on the fly. Furthermore, the iPhone will be able to connect to an upcoming Lowes online utility, dubbed MyLowes, that will enable employees to look up owner’s manuals, warranties, and even paint formulas.

The¬†Apple¬†iPhones replace scanner guns based on technology dating back to the early 1990s. Employees who previously jotted down item numbers and logged into computer terminals can now check product information, view how-to plumbing videos and connect to lowes.com as they help shoppers…

Each store is getting about 25 of the devices which eventually will be enabled for mobile calling, e-emailing and text-messaging as well as processing credit and debit card purchases.

Interestingly enough, the report describes how Lowe’s top rival, Home Depot, last year spent $60 million to tens of thousands of mobile devices from Motorola to accomplish the very same objective.

In other moves meant to modernize the shopping experience, Lowe’s is tossing 72,000 computer screens to the curb to make way for flat panel displays and is also planning to implement free wi-fi for customers, which will speed things up for all those iPhone toting employees as well.

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