Best Buy: Yes, Floor Staff Get Tablets, But Not Necessarily iPads

We’ve heard some rumors that Best Buy would be providing its staff members with iPads for work — that is to say, as tools to carry while on the job, looking up prices on the internal website, doing price comparisons, and so on. Best Buy has acknowledged that it it is indeed thinking about handing out tablets — but that it hasn’t actually decided on the iPad.

Reasons for this may be a reluctance to look like an Apple outlet or support that brand too much, or perhaps it’s simply a cost consideration, and they plan to opt for a cheaper device. Either way, it seems likely that pretty soon, tablets will be a mainstay at retail: you can swipe credit cards, display license agreements, scan coupons, and all that stuff. Best Buy isn’t the first to do this sort of thing; Apple decentralized their checkout a long time ago, and many other companies have moved info and point-of-service away from the front-of-store checkout area.

Why do I get the feeling that, even with an army of employees helping and cashing out shoppers, we’re still all going to be stopped by “security” on the way out?