Apple Prepares Its Retail Stores For New ‘EasyTheft’ System

Apple Prepares Its Retail Stores For New ‘EasyTheft’ System

Following reports Apple is set to introduce a new self-checkout system in its retail stores using its Apple Store app for iOS, the Cupertino company has begun preparing stores with EasyPay signs that inform customers they can pay for certain products by themselves.

The new system has been humorously dubbed “EasyTheft” in recent reports, following claims that under the new system, which allows customers to checkout their products themselves using a new iOS app, Apple store employees will not be checking to confirm customers have actually paid for their goods. This approach does seem a little unlikely, however, and we’re sure some kind of confirmation process will be in place.

The system was actually set to roll out yesterday, according to reports, accompanied by a major update to the company’s Apple Store app for the iPhone that will introduce the ability to purchase items in a retail store. Although it seems to be arriving a little later than its rumored launch date, these signs are the first hard evidence we’ve seen that the new system is on its way.

Have you seen these signs in your local Apple store?

Thanks for the pic, Dylan!

  • Michael

    Next step will be that Apple reduces the amount of staff working in Apple Stores? Or is there another advantage of that new payment system I’m not able to recognize?

  • Ed_Kel

    The only thing I can think of is it will free up the staff they have on hand.. At my local Apple Store, they’re are typically close to 15 staff members on duty at any given time. That number seems small given the fact that I can hardly move around in the store at any given time. Even though they are very efficient and it usually doesn’t take much time to checkout, sometimes it is a pain in the ass to wait for checkout for a simple phone case when 3 people in front of you are buying Macs or iPhones; in some cases, they ask the team member to set up and/or explain the device. Maybe this is Apple’s way of separating the big purchases from the small in hopes to get things moving faster…?

  • ggore

    I thought the new version of the Apple Store app was supposed to be out yesterday (Thursday 11/3), but it hasn’t shown up yet. 

  • VGISoftware

    Why do you people always look for the “dark” side of things?

    It’s like Ed_Kel said below: This is going to free up store employees to more important services so that they can be more helpful to people who need human interaction.

    It’s a waste of manpower to scan barcodes and swipe cards for simple purchases that customers can now do themselves. Other stores like Home Depot are doing it, too. And I think it’s kinda fun.

    I also value the time saving aspect of it. With this system in I can wade through my typically crowded Apple Retail Store, find the item I’m looking for, do whatever the app tells be to do, and walk out. Simple.

    And as for the “theft” aspect of it, it’s analogous to iTunes and online piracy. iTunes only hoped to CURB piracy by providing a convenient way for honest people to pay for their music. Same with this system. Honest people will use it and not need to be watched. Foreign concept to you? Too bad.

  • Japanese Lonewolf

    Well said, Daniel. In a crowded store when you know what you desire, located the item, and just want to pay and leave, finding an available Apple employee takes longer than it did to pick up the item. Unfortunately, individuals will always find something to complain about, or attempt to game the system.

  • CharliK

    It’s called trusting that your customers are honest. Yes some folks will steal, but they are the same folks that will always steal. or try to. 

    And yes, they have a way to know when someone is doing a self pay. They actually do get alerted. So they don’t have to slow folks up checking every purchase but can see, for example, that no one has self paid for an Apple wireless keyboard today so when Killian tries to walk out without paying for one he’ll see just what kind of LP Apple has. 

  • CharliK

    I don’t recall APPLE saying that. And if they didn’t say it then who’s to say it is true. 

  • CharliK

    More to the point it will get rid of many of the folks that are crowding up the stores yelling that they want to pay for an f-ing phone case and there’s no cash registers and why the f do they have to stand there and wait blah blah

  • CharliK

    there are always folks that will try to game the system. Look at that whole Apple Care + thing. That, and the subsequent dropping of any ‘one time exception’ authority is because of folks trying to game the system. 

  • twitter-70637979

    People keep churning out the old ‘shoplifting’ angle on this story, but I’ve yet to hear anyone actually explain why the shoplifting risk will be any higher than it is now when you can already pick up an item, do a lap of the store for good luck, and then just walk straight out.  All that changes is how you pay; the controls on making you pay haven’t altered!

    Edit: That reads like it’s something I regularly do – I don’t!!!

  • gplawhorn

    It wouldn’t be impossible to have a chip in each package that knows when it’s sold, and sounds an alarm when leaving the store.

    It’s also possible that Apple is weighing employee pay versus shoplifting, and deciding that a small acceptable loss is cheaper than manpower.

  • MPD01605

    You must have seen me.  Except I just stand there quietly and try to get in the way until somebody notices I’m there and look lost.

  • Bob Forsberg

    “Easy Theft” is suggested in this article customers might make off without paying. I’d worry more about lurking thieves collecting your data via the “Easy Pay” system and making their own purchases on your dime.

  • kyerussell

    How’d that work?

  • revelated

    Got to pay for those massive stock payouts recently given, somehow.

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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