Qfuse Blog - QR Code, NFC, and Mobile Marketing News

Apple and Google Will Never Build-In a QR Code Scanner into Smartphones

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It’s true!  Google and Apple won’t build-in QR Code scanning functionality unless marketers give consumers a good reason to scan QR Codes, make them easy to scan, and provide a frustration-free experience so consumers will scan again the next time they spot a QR Code.

Integrating QR Code scanning as a core function of the next generation of smartphones could be shot in the foot for companies like Google and Apple.  Why, might you ask?  When the average smartphone user scans a QR Code and has a frustrating experience they’re not going to care why it was a pain and will likely place blame on the phone itself.  In short, Apple and Google will look bad because many marketers have ignored the basics of marketing altogether.  (Check out Easily Avoidable QR Code Mistakes and QR Code Best Practices for more info on how to use QR Codes successfully.)

Many supporters of QR Codes, including the Qfuse team, would love to see Apple and Google include a native QR Code scanner into the next release of their smartphone platforms because of the potential QR Codes have for connecting consumers and supporters to different organizations.  In a recent Tech Crunch article, Brenden Mulligan explained the situation very well: “QR codes simplify {bridging the gap between the digital and physical worlds} even more. It’s much easier for me to scan a code and have it take me directly to {an organizations} Twitter page than have to type in their username. Or even better, if I get a reward for taking a digital action, like filling out a survey, it’s easier to get me to the survey with a scanned code than giving me a URL to enter.”  Brenden suggests, “To truly take QR codes to the mainstream, Apple and Google should actually build a scanner into the camera logic.”  We think he’s right!

A few weeks back Glenn Fleishman went as far as to post an article on TidBITS outlining how the QR Code scanning functionality could be built into iPhones.  Glenn, you’re definitely onto something!  Regardless of how this plays out in the next generation of smartphones one thing is for certain: the better marketers get at engaging consumers with QR Codes, the greater the incentive Apple and Google will have to add a built-in native QR Code scanner into their smartphones and ultimately skyrocket the usage of this great technology.