How the New iPod Touch is Disrupting the World of Enterprise Scanning

By Aila Staff

June 24, 2019

Handheld scanners have been around for decades and rightfully so. From retail & grocery to healthcare & hospitality, scanning workflows like inventory management, check-in, and mobile payments have proven to enhance customer experiences while empowering front-line employees.

The problem with traditional handheld scanners is that they are often expensive, bulky, and built on proprietary & outdated technology, limiting the scope of their functionality. Enterprises investing in handhelds may have to compromise on performance to meet costs or forego robust functionality in favor of performance.

We’re making the most affordable iOS device even better with performance that is twice as fast as before…GREG JOSWIAK, VP of Product Marketing, Apple

Back in May, Apple announced the new iPod touch with enhancements to power, capability, and communication at an extremely affordable price. So, what does this mean for the enterprise?

Enterprise performance

With twice the RAM of the previous iPod touch and a two-generation leap in processor—A8 to A10 Fusion chip—the new model provides noticeable performance increases for employee-facing apps. As a handheld scanner, better performance means faster, more accurate scans with improved battery life. The combination of price and performance is unbeatable, especially when compared to other mobile handheld scanners.

Aila Mobile Imager iPod Touch

With its 8MP camera, image-based scanning technology like Aila’s SoftScan™ allows businesses to transform their iPod touch devices into best-in-class barcode scanners. When paired with a purpose-built sled (think Aila’s Mobile Imager™), enterprises get an affordable, ultra-fast, user-friendly, and durable-yet-lightweight handheld device that frees them from the constraints of traditional scanners.

Lower cost of ownership

At $200, an iPod touch can be implemented at a fraction of the cost of traditional handhelds. Old or broken devices can be easily replaced by Apple or 3rd party sellers, and apps can be obtained by any number of ISVs who write apps in the increasingly popular Swift language for iOS.

Similarly, there are dozens of trusted mobile device management (MDM) solutions available for iOS, providing enterprises with a simple, low-cost way of keeping their fleet of devices upgraded with the latest apps and security features.

Device lifespan and upgrade support

When the iPod touch 6 was released back in July of 2015, it supported iOS 8 (the latest OS of its day). Today, the iPod touch 6 is running iOS 12. With the new iPod touch 7, enterprise customers can expect several more years of support for the latest version of iOS.

Ailas SoftScan on iPod touch 7 for inventory scanning

Not only are these updates vital for bug fixes and performance upgrades, but they also provide much-needed security fixes that are central to protecting customer data.

What does this mean for iPod touch 6 enterprise users?

There are currently (by our estimate) hundreds of thousands of iPod touch devices being used across enterprise verticals. The new iPod touch 7 will be a natural progression for businesses looking to update their current fleet. Performance upgrades will make apps run smoother. Additionally, enterprises using sleds and cases for their iPods will be happy to learn that the form factor remains unchanged, meaning your new iPod should be compatible with your current sled or case.


Some wonder why Apple continues to support a device that has been called the “iPhone-lite” even as they release multiple new iPhones a year. But, as Apple Insider said in a recent editorial, “If you can’t see a market for the new iPod touch, you aren’t looking very hard.” The answer is enterprise.

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