Target Is Moving Its Employees From iOS To Android

September 14, 2017 - Written By Mihai Matei

According to a recent report citing several Target employees, the US-based retailer is currently in the process of replacing some of the equipment used by its employees on the sales floor, and switch from the current iPod Touch-based “MyDevices” to an Android-powered device supplied by Zebra Technologies. The report reveals that Target employees will make use of the Zebra TC51, which runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow and benefits from a user-removable battery.

Target began equipping its employees with MyDevices based on Apple iPod Touches wrapped in plastic shells featuring barcode scanners back in mid-2014. However, according to the latest news, the retailer has been testing new replacement hardware since the fall of 2016, and is now switching gears and partnering with Zebra Technologies for a different approach. The company will abandon the iPod Touches in favor of the Zebra TC51 terminal powered by Android OS, and apparently, some Target employees who have expressed their opinions online seem to be rather happy with this decision, on account that the iOS devices used previously have had numerous issues with the scanner, connectivity, and more. Apparently one of the biggest complaints in regards to the iPod Touch hardware lied in poor battery life, at least in the given conditions on the retail floor, and an enclosed non-removable battery only made matters worse as it wouldn’t allow employees to swap batteries on the go. In contrast, the Zebra TC51 features a 4,300mAh user-removable battery which should provide up to 14 hours of usage on a single charge, according to the OEM.

The Android-based smartphone also features a built-in barcode scanner and has a rugged design resistant to drops. The device is equipped with a 5-inch display featuring a resolution of 1280 x 720 and a protective sheet of Corning Gorilla Glass on top. The panel can be used while wearing gloves as well as in conjunction with a conductive stylus. Under the hood resides the Qualcomm MSM8956 Snapdragon 650 chipset housing two high-power ARM Cortex-A72 CPU cores clocked at up to 1.8GHz, along with an additional four core unit based on ARM Cortex-A53 architecture and operating at a frequency of up to 1.4GHz. The processor is paired with an Adreno 510 graphics chip and 2GB of RAM along with 16GB of on-board memory but Zebra also offers the device in a second configuration, sporting double the amount of RAM and storage. Finally, it’s worth noting that according to estimates, Target uses 30 MyDevices per store on average, and the retailer has roughly 1,800 stores, which results in around 54,000 iPod Touches now being replaced by the Zebra TC51.