Fresh off expanding its e-commerce-focused tablet to multiple payments processors, Leaf has established an app store to sell tech components to merchants.
The app store will be build off of Leaf's point of sale tablet, the LeafPresenter, and its online analytics and management portal, LeafBusiness. PayPal and LevelUp are among the app store's early participants, Leaf says.
"We're working with our first group of apps to make sure that they're stellar at launch and that our app store immediately brings merchants a wealth of added functionality from day one," says Leaf CEO Aron Schwarzkopf in an email. "We expect to be able to publish our [application programming interfaces] to the public later this year. Nonetheless, we are accepting applications from developers starting today so that they can get a leg up on the functionality LeafAppstore APIs will provide."
Leaf markets its tablet as an alternative to iPad-based point of sale systems such as Square Register and PayPal Here. It rents the tablets—which can accept and execute payments via a wide range of processors—for $50 a month, and charges $250 for added tablets.
While analysts gave Leaf's model mixed reviews, Schwarzkopf has said the tablet's narrow business gives merchants more options to add technology—which fits in with the new appstore.
"It would seem to be a degree of re-invention here. Many app stores already exist," says Gareth Lodge, a senior analyst for Celent. "I can see how Leaf got to this point, and I applaud them for their vision. But I'm less sure about how successful it will be. After all, it's a brave person that competes against Square and iTunes."