In a sign that BlackBerry, the former smartphone giant is still relevant to the corporate market,Thomson Reuters today released Eikon for BlackBerry 10, the first financial markets data application developed using the native tools of the new mobile platform.
The move could boost BlackBerry’s appeal to financial services firms that clients of Thomson Reuter’s Eikon on the desktop. Thomson Reuters is the first company to release a serious market data app for the BlackBerry 10 platform, whose success is being closely watched by analysts and the marketplace.
“In an industry where seconds and milliseconds matter, Thomson Reuters Eikon ensures our customers can have instant access to the breaking news and financial content they need to seize opportunities first - no matter where they are when they occur,” said John Manwaring, head of mobile for Thomson Reuters Eikon in the company’s release.
But will the launch of Eikon’s market data application for BlackBerry 10 create some excitement for the beleaguered brand on Wall Street?
BlackBerry, formerly known as Research in Motion (or RIM) has seen its market share plummet on Wall Street and elsewhere in the smart phone market where the rising stars have been iPhone and Android. While BlackBerry phones were once ubiquitous in the corporate world, many firms have typically replaced them with iPhones or let their employees use their own devices for work, according to a Wall Street & Technology blog post in November 2012. That year RIM had just a 4.3% share of the global smartphone market, according to IDC.
Though BlackBerries were firmly entrenched in financial firms and favored by the IT departments for their enterprise security, most Wall Street firms have largely ditched the phone in favor of the iPhone or Android and typically have developed new apps only for the Google and Apple devices, wrote WS&T previously.
Part of the problem is that BlackBerry 10 began shipping on Jan. 30, a year after the new smartphone and operating system (OS) were initially expected to go on sale.
A recent first quarter earnings report was disappointing to Wall Street. On June 28, 2013, the former smartphone giant revealed it shipped just 2.8 million devices in its fiscal first quarter, and the company reported a surprise loss. Shares promptly lost nearly 30% of their value, reported CNN Money.
When asked via email why it chose to develop applications for the BlackBerry 10, when its market share for other BlackBerry products has plunged compared to a few years ago, Thomson Reuters wrote: “We see strong demand for BlackBerry 10 support from our customers. With this launch of the Eikon native app for BlackBerry 10, we are continuing to build on our commitment to provide access to Eikon through a variety of mobile devices. While it remains to be seen what impact the market data app will have on the broader market for BlackBerry10, and its prospects within financial services, Thomson Reuters’ Eikon app is already getting positive reviews from the mobile blogosphere who follow BlackBerry.
“This gives Eikon subscribers (an alternative to Bloomberg terminals) access to real time financial markets data on their BlackBerry 10 device. Best of all it comes in a fast and fluid native UI experience. BlackBerry announced this partnership at BlackBerry Live and the fruits of that labor are finally here,” wrote Ronan Halevy, blogger for Berryview, a self described BlackBerry addict.
One user commenting on BlackBerry.com wrote, “Fast and well build for the financial markets user.” Another person commented: “Outstanding app, this truly shows how the BB10 OS delivers proper apps experience. The other OSs can only dream of being this good.”
One of the major selling points of BlackBerry is that its device is known for its privacy, security and reliability. In yesterday’s release Thomson Reuters emphasized that it worked closely with BlackBerry throughout the development of the Eikon app to ensure customers benefit from the “enhanced privacy, enterprise security and user experience that BlackBerry 10 provides.”
According to Martyn Mallick, VP of Global Alliances and Business Development at BlackBerry, said the Eikon for BlackBerry 10 app “embodies the future for market data apps with its clean design and ease of use.”
Some key features include a customized dashboard for quick access to the user’s most important data, market -moving news, seamless list monitoring and saved news searches with synchronization to the Eikon desktop and a briefcase feature for reading content offline. In its emailed responses to questions, Thomson Reuters indicated it sees advantages in offering market data across BlackBerry 10 vs. other products. “We offer Eikon across a number of mobile devices, including iPhone and iPad, this addition of BlackBerry 10 to our list of mobile channels is in response to customer demand.”
The BlackBerry 10 native app is the latest addition to Thomson Reuters Eikon’s mobile application suite, which includes apps for iPad, iPhone and previous BlackBerry devices. It will be bringing out an app for Android in the next few weeks as well.
BlackBerry 10 is said to be crucial for the company to jump back into the competitive fray where Apple, Google and Samsung dominate. Eikon’s app for BlackBerry 10 could be a huge boost in connecting BlackBerry back to the hardcore financial markets community where it still has diehard fans.