The iPad came first. Now it all makes sense…

Until recently, I thought that the iPad was basically a scaled-up version of the iPhone, and that Apple was inspired to create a bigger brother by the iPhone’s success.

It turns out it was the other way around. A friend with senior contacts at Apple tells me that Steve Jobs has been obsessed with creating a revolutionary tablet computer for 10 years — pretty much ever since the demise of the Newton — and the iPad is the direct result of that. It was only halfway through its development that someone at Apple said “hey, if we made a really small version of that, it would be a great smartphone”. Interviews with Steve Jobs back up this version of events.

For some reason this makes a whole lot more sense to me. The iPad isn’t a beefed up iPhone — the iPhone is a cut-down iPad. Of course.

Which might explain why the iPad, as the fastest-selling consumer device in history, is currently outselling the iPhone by nearly 5:1 (see Patrick Myles’s post below).

The rise of mobile devices

The release of Caplin’s StreamLink for iOS (PDF) last week marks an interesting step-change in the use of mobile devices in banks for applications beyond email.

RIM’s Blackberry has been the mobile platform of choice within banks for years – it works, it’s secure and everyone’s got one. But it’s rarely used for much beyond email and there has been little demand for real-time capabilities. Not to mention the fact its web browser has been notoriously rubbish.

This is changing fast, however. Users who have a newer generation smart phone for home use are getting fed up with the limitations of the Blackberry in the workplace. This pressure has led many smaller financial institutions to allow iPhones on their networks and some of the bigger ones (like Standard Chartered) are offering them as standard options now. Banks are also seeing an opportunity to be one of the players in the mobile space and are rushing to build, and in turn demanding vendor support for, real-time mobile apps.

Continue reading

Are compliance concerns delaying banks from offering iPhone trading to Institutional Clients?

While many banks talk of providing trading via the iPhone or other mobile devices to institutional clients, so far very few have done so.

In the non-professional (retail) market, most spread betting firms and retail brokers already offer quite sophisticated mobile trading solutions.

So, what’s stopping the banks from offering similar solutions to their top tier institutional clients?

Major banks have well defined e-commerce strategies for their single dealer platform (SDPs) across various client segments – combining pre-trade, trade and post trade offerings to meet specific segment requirements. Yet many seem unclear exactly what to deliver to those same segments using mobile devices.

Continue reading