JPMorgan Chase to hand out free iPads to investment bankers

Thu, Dec 2, 2010


As the iPad continues to seep its way into Wall St., and corporate America in general, JPMorgan Chase recently decided to give all of its investment bankers iPads so that they can use it as a mobile tool while out in the field doing whatever it is that investment bankers do, aside from pulling in major cash.

In an internal company email obtained by Bloomberg News, two managing directors at the company explained, “We believe there are real benefits in our working environment that can be realized using this device – as well as the personal productivity and enjoyment that come as part of the package.”

Apple currently has the tablet market on lockdown, with its commanding marketshare of 95%. Meanwhile, competitors are trying to come out with iPad competitors as quickly as possible, but before you know it, Apple will already be releasing the iPad 2. Per usual, Apple’s competitors will be chasing Cupertino’s taillights.

In any event, JPMorgan bankers lucky enough to receive the free iPad will only be able to use the device for a constrained period of time – until May 1, 2011 to be exact. As with similar iPhone initiatives at similar institutions, JPMorgan’s iPad initiative is part of a pilot program intended to gauge the utility of the iPad out in the field.

Bankers will be able to access e-mails, contacts, calendar and attachments via Microsoft Outlook, as well as have the ability to mark-up and annotate confidential documents and make client presentations, according to the e-mail. They will also be allowed to download applications for personal use.

“There are a variety of ways to leverage the iPad. Some work off-the-shelf whilst others rely on JPMorgan software/security tools,” the managing directors said. “Depending on its success we will evaluate if we should repeat this one time initiative and/or expand it to others.

Just a few weeks ago, we reported that both Citigroup and the Bank of America were starting pilot programs wherein employees could choose to use Apple’s iPhone to access their corporate email accounts instead of the tried and true BlackBerry devices which have had a stranglehold corporate institutions for years now. As we wrote at the time, the iPhone, and Android, are particularly well-suited to supplant the BlackBerry as the communication device of choice.

The iPhone helped catalyze the transformation of the smartphone from a mere email and rudimentary communication device to a full fledged multimedia and Internet portable computer. That being the case, devices like the iPhone and Android handsets are much better positioned to provide a more engaging and appealing experience than RIM’s line of BlackBerry handsets, which while great for email, have failed to really succeed at much else.


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