Since the iO6 release much has been made of Passbook and how unsatisfactory the experience is out of the box. I admit that I too puzzled over how to get the system working, and still have yet to find a participating store that I actually frequent. One of the suggestions that I’ve seen bandied about the Twitter and the blogosphere is that Apple should have included support for “Apple Store stuff” in the initial app. Some suggestions are Apple gift cards, discounts on iPhone accessories and even iPhone 5 pre-order redemption slips. I’ll admit that I initially though that was a good idea—-until I though about it more thoroughly.
Look at the iOS Apple Store app. Do you see any “rewards cards”, the ability to use it as a gift card, or anything at all that would allow it to interact with an Apple Store POS terminal at all? No, you don’t. The the very model that the Apple Store app promotes — buy though the app, go to a store, pick up your item and walk out without interacting with an employee — is the very opposite of the model that Passbook promotes. In fact, Apple’s whole retail experience is designed to avoid the things that Passbook wants to make more efficient.