It all started in February when PayPal upgraded the mobile version of the app. PayPal made it clear it was all leading to this. Now the message is that all Android and iOS users must upgrade to the new version by the 30th of June. For Blackberry, Windows and Amazon fire users, the message was a bit apocalyptic. They can continue using PayPal until the 30th of June. But after that day, the party is over.
In an online post aptly titled, ‘It’s Time to Upgrade to Version 6.0 of the PayPal App‘, Joanna Lambert, a Vice president at the tech firm wrote about the issue while also expressing regrets at how difficult the decision was for them at management:
Starting on June 3 through June 30, customers using older versions of the PayPal mobile app on Android and iOS will be required to upgrade to version 6.0, the newest version of the PayPal app. Version 6.0 of the PayPal app is currently supported on the following devices:
- Android devices running OS 4.03 or greater
- Apple devices running iOS 8.1 or higher: iPhone 4S or greater, iPad 2 or greater, and iPod Touch 5th gen or greaterVersion 6.0 of the PayPal mobile app has enhanced features and a new look and feel. We have brought features that our customers use most to the forefront such as send and request money, PayPal balance and transaction history.”
VP Lambert explained that owners of Windows mobile devices can still access PayPal through the mobile Web version using either Internet Explorer or Edge browser. Blackberry and Amazon fire users also have a lifeline after the June 30th date. They can access the mobile Web version of PayPal through their devices. However, on Blackberry, the PayPal app can also function in a limited way. Peer-to-peer payment can be made with other BBM users.
For Blackberry this is just the latest in a series of blows to its reputation. Blackberry has being struggling for years now to reclaim back it’s share of the mobile market. But it has being a losing battle so far. Switching to Android from blackberry OS in their latest phones was just one of the measures aimed at winning back customers. But consumers were not too enthused about Blackberry Priv, the first Android device from Blackberry. The company recently announced that its next smartphones would also be on the Android OS platform. With the added spice that the phones would be modestly priced. A reaction to the fact that the Priv was to costly leading to poor sales.
Earlier in February too, WhatsApp announced it was discontinuing support for Blackberry at the end of the year. Further making the phone less attractive to people who love using the world’s leading messaging app. Facebook too followed suit announcing it was discontinuing support for Blackberry. Though, Blackberry was able to mitigate the disaster of that Facebook blow. Users of Blackberry were given an updated, watered down Web version of Facebook to use on their devices.
The future of Windows Mobile phones too are not any better. The latest is the announcement that about 2000 employees would be laid off from the company. These massive sack followed an announcement that Microsoft is pulling out of the windows phones journey. A journey that started with a lot of promise, but encountered so many problems. The major problem was the ascendancy of Android, and the spinoff in cheap Android devices from Chinese OEMS.
Though things like these are somewhat inevitable, it always leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Developments like these means our choices are being shrunk. I hope we don’t end up in a world where it is either Android or nothing. That is the nightmare scenario for all lovers of free market where price and quality control are largely determined by choices for the consumers.
photo credit: technobuffalo.com