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Can Apple save the Post Office?

A new app may revive the flagging USPS

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The financially strapped United States Postal Service is getting a high-tech boost from Apple. The free new Cards app for the iPhone and iPod Touch lets you snap a photo and seamlessly send a personalized letterpress card to an address — as in, to an actual, physical mailbox — anywhere in the country for $2.99. The USPS and Apple collaborated on the implementation of USPS’ Intelligent Mail barcode (also used by Netflix) that is printed on the front of every envelope sent via the app, which sends you a push notification the day your card is out for delivery. The USPS believes that the partnership can make a significant impact on revenue. (More than 4 million people bought the iPhone 4S alone in its first weekend.) ”A lot of people look at digital media and hard copy as competing against each other,” said Gary Reblin, VP of domestic products at USPS, ”but there are a lot of ways the two can work together to create solutions.”

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