Following the success of its iPhone application released last September, Starbucks tonight is announcing a new version for BlackBerry smartphones.
The app lets users check their Starbucks card balance, reload cards using a credit card and pay for drinks by displaying a barcode on the phone at some stores.
BlackBerry users also get a new Starbucks store mapping feature that will be added to the iPhone app soon.
Starbucks may eventually offer apps for Android and Windows phones, but BlackBerry was the most-requested platform “by far,” said Chuck Davidson, category manager of Starbucks Card Innovation.
The card is having a banner year, with about a fifth of store purchases now made with one, according to Ryan Records, Starbucks Card director.
Records expects more people to use their phones to make purchases because it’s fast and convenient, but he’s not expecting the actual plastic cards to go away.
“We know plastic can be inconvenient sometimes,” he said. “People forget their wallets, people forget their keys, but they never forget their cellphones.”
The BlackBerry app is available via Starbucks.com or by texting the word “GO” to 70845. It works on the following models: 8800, 8820; Bold 9000, 9650, 9700; Curve 8300, 8310, 8320, 8330, 8350i, 8520, 8530, 8900; Storm 9530; Storm2 9550; and Tour 9630.
People with the apps on their phones can use the barcode payment system at Starbucks cafes in more than 1,000 Target stores across the country and 16 Starbucks stores,, including eight in the Seattle area that have special scanners to read the codes.
The eight Seattle stores are:
Key Tower 700 5th Ave
Columbia Center 701 Fifth Ave
First Interstate / Wells Fargo 999 Third Ave
40th Floor Columbia Tower 701 5th Ave
7th & Stewart 1700 Seventh Ave
7th & Pike 1524 7th Ave
University Village II 2650 NE 49th St.
Madison Park 4000 E. Madison Ave