5 Reasons why you should not buy an iPad POS System

An iPad POS System is a computerised point of sale solution that uses Apple tablet (iPad or iPad mini) software to process every day sales in a retail or hospitality store.


The term 'iPad POS' has become more and more popular over recent times simply because an 'App' sounds like a good 'cheap' option. Apple has millions of app in its "App Store" for under $1. Nevertheless, the question remains: should I or should I not get an iPad POS for my new hospitality business?
I will give you 5 good reasons to NOT buy an iPad POS system for your new business.

Cloud hosting

Cloud hosting is a new technology that provides hosting of information/data and websites on remote servers. This information is then pulled back using a web service from any device, including an iPad. In essence it’s ‘storing information on the Internet’. iPad POS relies on cloud hosting. 2 questions here:

- Do you want to store your valuable information on the ‘Internet’?
- Do you want to rely on Internet if you’re operating a busy restaurant?

No. Studies have shown that hospitality businesses need to have a super-fast point of sale system for their everyday needs to give them more time to spend with clients and less time using software. Read this article to see the difference between Tablet and Traditional POS Systems.

Internet and Cloud Printers

iPads don't have a means to connect directly to printers, such as Epson or Zebra etc.. They must use a 'Cloud Printer'. This means that for each transaction using your point of sale software, your program sends a signal to the Internet to send a print log job to your local printer, sitting a few inches away from you. Question: What happens if the Internet is down or slow?
Answer: Your printer will not print orders. So imagine a scenario where your restaurant is packed with customers and your kitchen isn't getting your orders, clients are waiting and you're back using pen and paper. .


Cloud hosting is much like website hosting; someone is hosting your information. Quite often it's a big company with a lot of secure servers and many employees looking after your data to ensure they are secure from hackers. These companies must charge a fee for such tasks, therefore – an iPad POS user must be charged back for hosting services. In most cases, these charges aren't enormous and they usually range between $10 and $50 a month. But do you really want to pay for hosting when you can host the data internally, yourself?

Slow Process

As we've mentioned above, an iPad Point of Sale Solution relies on cloud hosting and Internet speed connection, therefore, each time you click/touch a button on the screen, the information is retrieved from the Internet. This can be fast at times (under 1 second response time), but when you're retrieving a lot of information from the cloud server, the response time may lag dramatically. A good example is when you retrieve old sales data, your software is trying to pull historical data from the Internet, your web service returns a list of thousands of orders with order information, customer details, charges etc. In technical terms, your software is downloading around 10,000 bytes of information. This process takes long, regardless of your Internet connection speed. Often, you are searching for an old order and your customer is waiting, while other customers are queuing up.

Immature Technology

For someone who's been selling point of sale software for many years, we've only just started learning about iPad software over the past 5 years or so. In comparison with 'Windows Solutions', whose software we have been selling since 1998 (or even earlier), you have the peace of mind that comes with reliability and performance.
Most companies which offer iPad solutions have been developing their software for around 3-5 years. Generally speaking, business software is a complex structure and requires a lot of software developments to 'get it right'. Take for example Microsoft Windows operating system version 95, 98, 2000 then XP etc.. It's only at recent times where Microsoft has got it right with the release of XP and a few years later Windows 7. Of course, POS Software isn't as complex as an Operating system but if history teaches us anything, it's that software take time to mature and iPad software isn't quite there yet.


I highly recommend moving away from an iPad POS solution for restaurants or cafes! The system costs very little to setup, true, however consider the ongoing fees, Internet reliability, slow response time etc… There are many other tablet solutions that are Windows based and do not rely on Internet/Cloud hosting and have $0 ongoing fees! With the overwhelming competition in the market, tablets are becoming less expensive. You can buy a complete tablet point of sale system from SASSCO for under $4,000 setup, with staff training and 1 year technical support and $0 ongoing fees.

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