In addition to the fat year-end bonuses it doles out in good markets or nasty recessions, JPMorgan & Chase Co. has another pricey stocking stuffer in mind for its investment bankers this year: Apple Inc.'s iPad.
According to a Bloomberg News report, the firm will give iPads to its entire global investment banking division and allow them to keep the trendy device as long as they remain at the unit.
"We believe there are real benefits in our working environment that can be realized in using this device - as well as the personal productivity and enjoyment that come as part of the package," two managing directors at New York-based JPMorgan said in an email obtained by Bloomberg News.
"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."
JPMorgan is the latest in a slew of firms to buy into the iPad phenomenon. Earlier this year, Morgan Stanley announced the launch of an iPad application that aims to let institutional clients view reports on fixed income markets, stocks, currencies, and economics. JPMorgan rolled a similar application last month.
Meanwhile AT&T recently announced plans to offer iPads through its corporate sales operation , Credit Suisse unveiled its own research application , and the Financial Times even offered its employees a $480 subsidy to purchase the device. And Gleacher & Co. analyst Brian Marshall said that Wall Street's iPad obsession spells trouble for BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd., which once dominated the mobile device business.
"For the first time you have a viable alternative to secure mobile communications and by and large we see people moving away from the Blackberry platform in droves in favor of the iPhone and the iPad."