PayPal to Microsoft, BlackBerry, Amazon Kindle Fire: Buh-Bye

The payments service says it will cease support for apps on these mobile platforms in order to focus more on Apple iOS and Google Android devices.

Marguerite Reardon Former senior reporter
Marguerite Reardon started as a CNET News reporter in 2004, covering cellphone services, broadband, citywide Wi-Fi, the Net neutrality debate and the consolidation of the phone companies.
Marguerite Reardon
2 min read

PayPal is unloading a little baggage.

The online payments company said Wednesday in a blog post that it is ditching its apps made for Microsoft Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Amazon Kindle Fire. The news comes as PayPal is requiring its users to upgrade to the latest version of its app for Apple iPhone and Google Android. June 30 will be the last day for Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Amazon Kindle Fire users to access their PayPal apps.

PayPal's withdrawal of support from the three platforms underscores the influence that Apple and Google exert over the market. The two companies accounted for 97 percent of smartphone sales worldwide in the first quarter, according to market researcher Gartner, leaving little justification for developers to support competitive platforms.

Watch this: How Apple Pay and PayPal can help shoppers avoid hacks

You likely see the effects around you, with most consumers rocking an iPhone or an Android-powered phone like a Samsung Galaxy S7. On Wednesday, Microsoft said it is axing 1,850 jobs in its smartphone business, which comes on top of the 4,500 jobs cut last week following the divestiture of its basic phone assets and signaling an end to any grand ambitions about building its own mobile hardware. BlackBerry has made little progress with its phones and has spent years mired in has-been status.

It's more surprising that PayPal would cease to support Amazon Kindle Fire, an inexpensive tablet that remains popular. Amazon uses a variant of Android that makes it less compatible with the standard version of Google's operating system. As a result, developers must fine-tune their apps specifically for the online retailer's devices.

PayPal offered little explanation.

"It was a difficult decision to no longer support the PayPal app on these mobile platforms," Joanna Lambert, PayPal's vice president of consumer product, said in the blog. "But we believe it's the right thing to ensure we are investing our resources in creating the very best experiences for our customers."

Windows, Blackberry and Kindle Fire users will still be able to access PayPal via the mobile site. Windows Outlook.com users can still enable the PayPal add-in to send payments from the email app. BlackBerry users can also still send money via BlackBerry Messenger.

Android phones running version 4.03 or higher and Apple devices running iOS 8.1 or higher can use the updated app, which offers a simplified way to send and request money, as well as a new home screen with relevant transaction details. More information on PayPal's app update, introduced in February, can be found here.