PayPal is abandoning mobile app support for Amazon’s Fire, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone. The company has announced that it will instead focus on Apple and Google (ie. Android) platforms.
In a blog post announcing the move, PayPal framed it in resource management terms, with Global Consumer Product & Engineering VP Joanna Lambert calling it “a difficult decision” that is ultimately “the right thing to ensure we are investing our resources in creating the very best experiences for our customers.” As Yahoo Tech’s Lulu Chang points out, Apple and Google platforms together account for 97 percent of global smartphone sales; so it appears that PayPal simply did not see the value in directing resources to smaller platforms.
That profit motive has produced some strange bedfellows, however, given that in the world of digital payments—particularly of the mobile variety—Apple and Android are increasingly turning into PayPal’s direct competitors. Then again, the old truism ‘Keep your friends close and your enemies closer’ may be particularly applicable in this case, since by continuing to support the Apple and Android platforms, PayPal is ensuring that its competitors’ users will continue to have access to its own digital payments app.
Meanwhile, Microsoft Outlook users can still use the PayPal extension to email money transfers, and users of BlackBerry’s BBM are still going to be able to send PayPal payments too, so there is still some marginal support beyond the hegemonies of Apple and Google.