When Square announced its Square Stand product in July, two topics dominated the discourse around it: Its impressive sleek design and its aggressive $299 price point.
Only one of those things now remains.
In December, Square slashed the price of the Stand to $99; at the time, company spokeswoman Khobi Brooklyn maintained that it was a special “holiday price.” But she confirmed on Tuesday that the “price is staying at $99.”
The company put a positive spin on the news, when asked why it had made such a drastic change so soon after the product’s launch. “Our goal is to make products accessible to as many merchants as possible,” she said.
But it’s hard to imagine that Square would cut the price by two-thirds if the product were selling well. The stand is used to hold an iPad in place, on which a business completes and manages transactions through Square’s Register point-of-sale software. A credit-card reader is built into the stand, which can also be connected to third-party hardware such as cash drawers and receipt printers. The hardware also includes a smart swivel capability which allows the retail employee to spin it around to the customer when necessary.
In an interview over the summer, Square hardware chief Jesse Dorogusker told me that the company was confident there was a market for the stand after visiting business after business where the iPad running Square’s software was simply lying on a counter or propped up on books. But the adoption of the product has also likely suffered from the presence of cheaper stands on the market, even if those don’t include the ability to easily link the hardware with important third-party components.
The new price tag coupled with the product’s quality could convince business owners using other stands to switch over. But it’ll be interesting to see if it’s enough to convert those merchants who aren’t using any kind of formal stand at all.
The pricing change is the second big one at Square in the last few months, following the elimination of the monthly pricing plan for its payment processing. As Re/code previously reported, new Square business lead Francoise Brougher played a significant role in that decision. Likewise, this huge price drop would have to have had her stamp of approval.