A surprising number of capital markets professionals are now using the iPhone instead of a Blackberry while tablet adoption is set to explode in the industry, according to a study released today by S&P Capital IQ.
Overall, RIM's Blackberry still holds a slim market-share advantage over Apple's iPhone, but the gap is small, with 39 percent of respondents using a Blackberry for work and 36 percent using an iPhone on the job. However, when it comes to a mobile device for personal use, iOS dominates, with 58 percent of capital markets users relying on the iPhone. Only 9 percent of capital markets professionals use an Android phone for work purposes, while 19 percent have one for personal use.
"One of the surprising was the percentage of Blackberry to iPhone usage," says Amy Kadomatsu, managing director, S&P Capital IQ. "The iPhone has made a lot of traction into the investment banking space." Although this is the first time S&P Capital IQ has fielded this type of survey, Kadomatsu suspects the iPhone usage percentage has been rising rapidly. "If you did this survey two years ago, Blackberry usage would be much higher."
[For more about mobile app adoption in the capital markets, read: The Top 10 Mobile Apps on Wall Street.]
When it comes to tablet usage, an overwhelming number of respondents will begin using apps in the next 18 months. Seventy percent of users plan in either buying a tablet for the first time (32 percent), or upgrading their existing tablet (38 percent). "This is a whopping percentage," Kadomatsu notes. "It's all about how people view their tablets. People view tablets much like they do their phones -- they have to get the next newest thing. When you look at laptops, people don't feel the need to get the latest and greatest. There is not the anticipation for laptops as there is for phones, and now for tablets."
However, depute the anticipated high adoption rate, most respondents are not using tablets for work. Currently, only 14 percent of capital markets professionals use tablets for work and 33 percent use it for personal pleasure. Also, 92 percent of respondents use tablets for playing games. "Companies are grappling with whether to buy tablets for the entire workforce," Kadomatsu relates. "This survey may give them pause. If firms can't figure out a way to get people to use tablets for work, they have to think twice about deploying them.
"However, people will purchase tablets for themselves," Kadomatsu continues. "Does it require that the company buy tablets on their behalf? Probably not." Kadomatsu adds, though, that organizations worried about compliance may want to purchase and deploy company-controlled tablets.
The study also found that most users utilized mobile apps while traveling or commuting during the early morning hours or after work. Respondents rarely used the apps during work hours, even if the tools were work or business related. Only 7 percent of users were likely to use mobile apps during peak work or busy periods and 41 percent were most likely to use the apps while traveling.
"For someone developing apps for the workplace, its very interesting to know when and what people are doing on mobile devices,"Kadomatsu says. "In the early morning hours, users are trying to prepare for the day and are trying to get a head start. At the end of the day, people are trying to get things done and consolidate work to take home. When building the apps, people need to consider the anticipated experience and what people are using the apps for."
For instance, financial executives spend a lot of time traveling, according to Kadomatsu. "They are relying on mobile apps," she says. "It is often the case where someone has five minutes to get up to speed during a cab ride on the way to a meeting. Having apps that provide information easily is important."