Online payment service PayPal is abandoning the apps that it created for Microsoft Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Amazon Fire OS. The company announced the move this week on its blog.
The news paves the way for PayPal to steer users toward the latest versions of its app for Apple's IOS and Google's Android. Those two platforms have come to dominate the mobile payment space. The last day of support for the Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Amazon Kindle apps will be June 30.
PayPal's withdrawal of support from the three platforms points out its eagerness to do business exclusively with Apple and Google, which together accounted for 97 percent of phone sales in the first quarter of 2016, according to sales figures compiled by Gartner Inc.
While the Kindle is still a popular product, Amazon uses a variant of Android on it that makes it less compatible with the standard version of Google's mobile OS, meaning that developers must alter the app if it is to be used with Amazon products.
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PayPal's announcement comes on the heels of news yesterday that Microsoft is cutting 1,850 jobs in its smartphone business. The latest cuts are in addition to 4,500 jobs Microsoft cut last week following its sell-off of its feature phone assets.
Version 6.0, the newest version of the PayPal app is currently supported on Android devices (pictured above) running OS 4.03 or later and Apple devices running iOS 8.1 or higher. The latter category includes iPhone 4s or higher, iPad 2 or greater, and iPod Touch 5th generation or later. Starting on June 3, customers using older versions of the PayPal mobile app on Android and iOS will need to upgrade to version 6.0.
PayPal said that version 6.0 of the PayPal mobile app has enhanced features and brings to the forefront features that are used most frequently, such as send and request money, PayPal balance and transaction history.
Thomas Husson, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Inc., told us that it's not surprising that PayPal was dumping support for Microsoft Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Amazon Fire OS.
"Publishers and developers are no longer investing in these platforms," said Husson. "Why would PayPal invest in legacy platforms that are bound to disappear? Other players should rationalize their investments, too. It makes more sense for PayPal to invest in new platforms and user-interface tools like bots or messaging apps than on tools of the past."
Windows Phone users can still access PayPal via its mobile site on Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge browsers. Outlook.com users can also use the PayPal add-in to send money directly from their inboxes. BlackBerry users can also still send money via BlackBerry Messenger.
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