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Bloomberg reports that home improvement store chain Lowe's is deploying 42,000 iPhone 4 devices to its workers next month.

Next month, Lowe’s will introduce its MyLowes online tool that customers will be able to use to store owner’s manuals, warranties and paint formulas, Chief Information Officer Mike Brown said in an interview. The Mooresville, North Carolina- based company is arming workers with 42,000 iPhone 4s to answer shoppers’ questions and ring up purchases.

The move is an attempt to better compete with rival Home Depot, which introduced a similar program last year with Motorola handhelds.

Each store will be receiving 25 devices that "will be enabled for mobile calling, emailing and text-messaging as well as processing credit and debit card purchases".

Top Rated Comments

apparatchik Avatar
165 months ago
...
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
talmy Avatar
165 months ago
Seems to me Lowe's could have saved much money by using iPod Touches and having Wifi in their stores. They might have Wifi already. Doesn't seem like they need a phone for this.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
joelobrien Avatar
165 months ago
I am a Lowes employee. We started using the iPhones in our store (1522) last week. They are using the phones because they plan to replace our landlines with them. The store does run the phones off of wifi. If a unit is taken from the store, it fails to operate except for the gps locating services. So far they have made things much easier in the store. It doesn't carry all the operations of an LRT scangun but does seem to facilitate things by giving us the ability to scan stock and see general information.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
talmy Avatar
165 months ago
But I don't understand how Lowe's can write custom software for it if it's not "open". How can it possibly work! I'm sure businesses will be ordering up Android phones and tablets by the tens of thousands once they catch on.

Are you joking?

http://developer.apple.com/programs/ios/enterprise/ (http://developer.apple.com/programs/ios/enterprise/)
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Caliber26 Avatar
165 months ago
...

Thank you!! I was just thinking, what a creepy-looking guy they chose for this picture. He looks so excited, doesn't he?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rdlink Avatar
165 months ago
I can see how this could be very successful. Those stores are huge, so being able to contact other employees and managers to ask questions instead of hoofing it all over the store would be helpful and should speed up shopping. Would also be nice to be able to make purchases on the spot with an associate for items like appliances, paint, locks, lumber and plants.

If you've worked in corporate, you know the cost to implement this kind of initiative in time, training and such far exceeds the actual cost of the devices. As a Lowes shareholder, I'm glad to see them pursuing this strategy. :cool:

I agree. I also see where IOS5 and iMessage would be very helpful in communicating with fellow employees via free texting.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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