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A New Way of Selling Electronics - iPod Vending Machines Spotted In Several U.S. Airports Print E-mail
Friday, 16 December 2005
You arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare and dig into your attaché case for the trusty iPod only to realize that it’s still connected to your G5 desktop at home – what would you do? Normally you’d have to give up on the dream of listening to some tunes on the plane ride and read a magazine or perhaps buy some headphones from the airport gift shop and awkwardly listen to any music you might have on a your laptop computer. If Zoom Shops newest invention catches on, chances are strong that forgetful travelers with a credit card and a thing for impulse buys will never have to suffer without an iPod again. In Atlanta’s Hartsfield International and San Francisco International airports, new vending machines have popped up that will let travelers purchase iPod minis, iPod shuffles, cell phones, digital cameras and other small electronics gadgets. Zoom Shops launched in March of 2005 after working with a Japanese robotics company to develop their kiosks. The company is adding more Kiosks to the airports in San Francisco and Atlanta and expects to have as many as 10,000 machines installed by 2007 in airports around the world.

Of course a brand new iPod that has no MP3 files on it is pretty useless unless you happen to have a way to load some songs onto it. Perhaps a day will come when we see Apple iTunes kiosks complete with custom docking stations that allow users to sample songs or albums then pay immediately to download them into their iPod. Travelers frequently drop $20 at the gift shop on magazines so why not spend that same money on two albums that will not only help pass the time on a flight but can be later moved onto the owners iTunes music library for his or her own personal use. Another option would be to put a small mark up on each iPod and sell pre-loaded bundles of music. Gyms across the country could stock iPod shuffles with high-energy music suitable for exercising and airports could have soothing music for relaxing on those long trans-Atlantic flights to Europe or heavy metal bundles for driving the rental car at breakneck speed through the hills on a weekend getaway.

Source: Appleinsider.com, engadget.com

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