1. Michael Essany's Avatar

    Have you noticed that "the season of giving" has become a year-round phenomenon for Apple? Particularly in the world of iTunes, the marketing gurus at Apple are pulling out all the stops to ensure that we're all aware that gifts of music or apps are always in order. What's more, if you've discovered a cool app, Apple would like for you to "share" it with friends and family. Better yet, says Apple, why not "gift" the app?

    It's pretty obvious that iTunes content has become the obligatory gift you give when you don't know what else to give or when you need a last-minute present of some sort. Let's face it, the ability to gift apps is pretty cool. And an iTunes gift card is just about the most convenient and any-occasion appropriate gift one can possibly give. So it stands to reason that Apple wants to make iTunes almost as synonymous with gift-giving as it is with music and apps.

    In fact, our friends at Patently Apple have done their usual investigative work and learned that Apple may now be tinkering with a new "concept retail kiosk." The goal, naturally, would be to give customers the ability to purchase customized iTunes gift cards via kiosk in a retail environment. The options for customizing, however, wouldn't just be limited to a personalized name and message. Instead, you can also make a personal photo the background image of the gift card, which is packaged and presented as a regular gift card would be. Needless to say, the gift cards can be loaded with the dollar amount of your choosing.

    As we've seen in the past, just because Apple pursues a patent and develops an idea doesn't mean that it will ever see the light of day. And with the iPad newly released and a big year ahead for the next iPhone, it's unlikely that kiosks are near the top of Apple's priority list. Nonetheless, if iTunes gift cards continue to be the enormous cash cow they've become in recent years, perhaps we just may see a kiosk like the one pictured above at our local shopping mall before we know it.

    Image via Patently Apple
    2010-04-10 11:27 AM
  2. iZoom's Avatar
    seems like a good idea, its in the same vein as rumors of those ipod vending machines
    2010-04-10 11:32 AM
  3. dratk00l's Avatar
    iPod vending machines are no rumor, I was in the MGM casino last year and saw a huge vending machine for iPods and iPod Touchs. Thing took credit cards and everything. Apple branded.

    And as a side note, my local mall has a vending machine for Proactiv. Thing is massive, holds just about every product in the line.

    So to me this isn't all that surprising.
    2010-04-10 02:51 PM
  4. converym's Avatar
    They have electronics vending machines, ipods, psps, etc. in Macy's by me.
    2010-04-10 04:36 PM
  5. MPS3's Avatar
    now all i need is my fake credit card

    2010-04-10 05:10 PM
  6. SquareWheel's Avatar
    Nobody gift me anything Apple please. I wouldn't mind a Steam game, though.
    2010-04-10 05:12 PM
  7. ZmanGroup's Avatar
    that cool
    2010-04-10 08:58 PM
  8. lolcats1's Avatar
    does anyone actually buy their music from itunes anymore? honestly.
    2010-04-11 06:27 AM
  9. billchase2's Avatar
    I like it. I'd buy some!
    21.5" iMac 3.06 GHz Intel Core i3 l 15" MacBook Pro 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7 l 17" PowerBook 1.67 GHz
    iPhone 4 32 GB l  TV 160 GB l 32 GB iPad
    2010-04-11 07:47 PM
  10. sziklassy's Avatar
    I don't know about "line the land". They are certainly pretty commonplace in airports, some malls, etc. basically a place where they can be squeezed in and there may not be a retailer nearby (ie, where it is more convenient to buy from the vending machine than the store). Places where impulse buys can be common and where people carry wads of cash is where I expect to see them the most. I do not think these types of machines will be replacing stores any time soon though. More like supplemental income.
    I once prayed to God for an iPhone, but quickly found out He didn't work that way...so I stole an iPhone and prayed for His forgiveness.

    A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself. - Josh Billings
    2010-04-11 09:18 PM
  11. iphone8130hak's Avatar
    2010-04-12 05:13 AM
  12. reanimationxp's Avatar
    +1 @skizlassy. Only seen them in Airports and casinos. Touristy places = wads of cash. Airport boredom is another key factor.. ironic though because you can't purchase actual MUSIC at the stations, making an iPod worthless. Would be cool if you could purchase tunes there too.
    2010-04-12 07:03 AM
  13. jdyates's Avatar
    Im gonna chain one of those iPod vending machines to the back of my 4x4 lol.
    2010-04-12 04:49 PM
  14. Phillies2606's Avatar
    Apple vending machiness!!!
    2010-06-08 10:21 AM