Lowe’s, the second largest U.S. home improvement retailer is equipping its staff with iPhones to improve customer service. It will distribute 42,000 iPhone 4s across its branches and these will enable staff to access information on the go.

The  iPhones will replace scanner guns based on technology dating back to the early 1990s. Employees who previously jotted down item numbers and logged into computer terminals can now check product information, view how-to plumbing videos and connect to lowes.com as they help shoppers, said Brown, who was named chief information officer in January.

Each store will get approximately 25 iPhone 4s which will also provide mobile calling, email, sms messaging and the processing of credit and debit card transactions. The iPhone roll out is part of a bigger IT infrastructure investment aimed at bringing it more market share from its nearest competitor.

[Bloomberg]