Starbucks announced that it plans to extend its popular mobile payment app into the Android market, signaling a power shift in the mobile OS war in Google's favor.
The Starbucks app first appeared on iPhone and Blackberry smartphones but is now making way into the growing Android mobile OS platform. The original method of using gift cards is now finding efficient use through Smartphone bar code scanning for payments, reloading dollars, and earning Starbucks Rewards for free coffee.
Chuck Davidson, Starbucks' category manager for innovation, spoke about the new app and the company's integration into Android smartphones.
Android is a huge growth opportunity for all mobile, so we're happy to be part of that now ... Moving to the Android is important because 'Android is huge,' said Davidson, in a conference call with reporters.
Davidson also commented on the monthly changes in the smartphone market. He said 3 million mobile payment transactions were recorded over a 9 week span after the Starbucks app was released on iOS and BlackBerry. With the rapid growth of Google's mobile OS in the past year, it was no surprise that Starbucks began listening to their customers' demand for a compatible app to hit Android devices according to the company's survey.
Recent survey results from Nielsen, earlier this month, indicated that Android surpassed both iPhone and Blackberry as the most popular mobile operating system. Google's mobile OS achieved this in less than a year as it holds a steady 36% share, more than double their 15% share from June of last year.
According to Davidson, the new Starbucks app will look and function in a similar fashion to iPhone's, despite being developed in a different fashion to allow the app to work across a wide variety of mobile devices powered by the Android platform. The mobile app payment system will hit devices and stores including 1,000 Safeway stores, 6,800 Starbucks owned locations, and 1,000 Target stores. The Starbucks Android app will be available from June 15.