The ‘hidden’ iPhone update that changes the rules for marketers

Ryan Holmes:

Depending on your perspective, Apple’s decision to include a native “QR code” reader in iOS 11 was either a stroke of brilliance … or about a decade too late.

So will QR codes actually catch on this time around? Well, I won’t pretend it’s not an uphill battle. Millennial users, by and large, see QR codes as about as out-of-date as supermarket bar codes.

This is actually a shame because QR codes are kind of cool, and immensely useful.

While I understand QR is popular in many places, it hasn’t really seemed to catch on outside of Asia. Holmes is a CEO who is looking at it from a marketing POV but I look at it from a trust and security POV and don’t like QR codes at all.



  • eric perlberg

    The Chinese market is enough reason. It’s a solid strategic move.

    • Kip Beatty

      And didn’t Apple, during the iOS 11 keynote intro, say the inclusion was for China?

      Ryan Holmes article is so US-centric. Will they catch on this time around? Who cares if they catch on here. They already caught on, big time, in the world’s largest phone market, and Apple is very wise to serve it.

  • Glenn Fleishman likes them, though. http://tidbits.com/article/17575. When I read that, it made me reevaluate my indifference toward them.

  • David Stewart

    I think some applications are interesting, like having a QR code that logs people into your wifi network.

    https://qifi.org/

  • We use QR codes in our printed curriculum to send readers to the web for watching videos and checking other resources. As much as we’ve tried to get rid of printed materials, our students won’t let us. And considering our students can be in grass huts in Africa, or in the rural parts of Burma, or even upper Mongolia, let alone the mountains of iran, that means printed material is important to them. But if they want to have printed materials that give them the same educational experience as those who are using our e-learning material on Blackboard, this is one solution. Take the book to an Internet cafe, or use your phone, to jump to where the good stuff is using a printed QR code. We generate our QR codes so they are simply URLs. No security issues there.

  • Mo

    I know of a marketing group that was using QR codes in their print pieces at one point, but nobody in the group could tell me whether the response rate justified using their use.

  • Sigivald

    QR for marketing makes me want to puke (“robot barf”).

    QR for verification purposes (see Facebook) doesn’t bother me.

    QR on, say, a receipt, for “not having to type in a URL manually” is tolerable.

    (And on-screen QR display for someone else to scan is utterly anodyne.)