The stereotypical image one has of today's Wall Street movers and shakers has evolved beyond the neatly pressed suits and ties, and sharp shoes, to include a hyper-obsessed BlackBerry addict, who can't look up in fear of missing an e-mail. But beyond the trading floor, consumers far from New York and other bustling metropolises are making updates to their portfolios - even in times of recession. And what eTrade has done by partnering up exclusively with BlackBerry on the mobile side is shut out the very real growing population who have selected other platforms, be they the iPhone, Google's Android, or even the Palm Pre.
eTrade Highlights Its Exclusive BlackBerry Deal
Today, using eTrade on the iPhone is barely passable. One simply has to log in through the standard Safari browser and use the non-optimized interface. It's good enough to get a near real-time update for portfolio holdings and balances, but too limiting to do much else. I'm certainly not using the Web site on the iPhone for researching stocks, reading news, making trades or seeing real-time updates.
I'm not saying the iPhone will kill the BlackBerry and render eTrade's move an abject failure, but even with BlackBerry's latest models, they don't seem to have the inside track on growth and innovation. They seem to have lost the swagger that made them a market leader for the last five or so years, while Apple and Google (to a lesser extent) have taken their place.
The iPhone is growing up to the point it's not just a game platform or a music device. I use the Mint.com application to see my up to date financial numbers, aggregated from many accounts. And Apple helpfully offers a basic stock price app. But they're no substitute for real trading.
An eTrade application for the iPhone should include:
- Real-time stock quotes
- Porfolio updates including gains and losses or trends
- Stock trading
- Company news and information
- Market overviews
eTrade, your own stock is barely over a buck. I know you have other issues on your mind. But every day that goes by where I don't have an eTrade application on my iPhone means less revenue for you. Call BlackBerry up and tell them you want to see other people.