How The Square Register Became an iPad Competitor: Wired

In a new report, Wired has detailed how Square made their own replacement for the iPad.

Most people know Square as the company that makes a payment system that gives vendors a way to take payments with the Square Reader, a dongle that allows you to process payments from a smartphone or tablet.

Since last year, the company has been moving away from the Square Reader and has been quietly selling its own tablet. The Square Register is the company’s own Android-based tablet with an Apple-like design. The custom made device gives the company over other tablets, including Apple’s iPad.

This move was very indicative of how serious Square is about owning the entire end-to-end payment experience. The Square Register was created by a team of 150 designers and engineers, including a few ex-Apple employees.

The goal of making their own device was not only to control the hardware, it was to make both the hardware and software experience even better. The company is marketing the device to businesses that make more than $125,000 a year.

The Square Register has a 10-inch display, which is now the sweet-spot for devices like this, and costs $999. In a statement, the head of hardware at Square and an Apple veteran Jesse Dorogusker said:

“One of our larger sellers said they have someone whose full-time job is to run around and go to the stores and check the iPad, make sure it’s updated, cleaning up apps, update our Square app on there. All of the IT challenges we were trying to take away the past couple years, we were giving back to our larger sellers.”

Dorogusker spent a lot of time with his team to understand the physical space that exists between a retailer and a customer. As they were developing this device, the popularity of tap-to-pay options was increasing rapidly.

“The behavior of, I hand my card to a seller and they swipe it and hand it back to me? That ritual was broken. It’s now common that I don’t give up my card. That influences the industrial design tremendously. Also, tapping your phone? You’re not going to hand your phone over to someone else”

Do you think the Square Register will impact the reach that Apple has on the payment market? Let us know in the comments below!

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