SmartPhones and Spread Betting

A few years ago if you were were away from your computer screen the only thing you could do was to place stops to protect your spread betting positions but thankfully these times are gone – we hope! Smartphones have revolutionised the world of spread betting and most spread betting brokers today have developed platforms that work with most of the leading smart phones.

But what is a Smartphone? If you’ve been living in a cave and haven’t heard of smartphones, perhaps the easiest way to think of such a device is as a handheld computer integrated into a mobile phone. In effect smartphones are are mobile phones with sophisticated PDA and data functionality. A whole new world of internet consumers has been born and they don’t use a PC or a Laptop, they will use tablets and phones. The spread betting industry as with others will need to adapt to these new ways of consuming the internet.

Handhelds have gone from simple electronic address books, to small laptops with voice, data, multimedia and Internet functionality. Like a normal phone, smartphones will permit you to receive and make outbound calls as well as send sms texts, but they will also allow you to send and receive e-mail messages, browse the Internet and run a vast number of programs commonly referred to as applications (apps for short).

These applications give more power to your phone, ranging from relatively simple tasks like checking the weather forecast and stock prices, as well as play games like Scrabble or even checking how many minutes late your train happens to be. The improved size and resolution of these phones also makes them ideal for social networking and things like shopping and trading the markets! The rise of mobile trading applications and the ability to initiate new positions or managing current trades when traders are away from the desk is fundamentally changing the way most investors interact with the markets.

“More people are choosing to place a spread bet on the go with the smartphones as figures increase.”

As opposed to traditional personal computers, smart phones usually operate using a touch screen as opposed to a traditional keyboard. But of course there are lots of different brands with different functionality and its definitely a good idea to check and match the different features to see which one suits you best. That way you’re more likely to choose a smartphone that not only suits your budget, but gives you the functionality you need.

Today, ever more tablets are in use and we are becoming accustomed to using our mobile as portable gateways to the Internet. It cannot be denied that the use of the mobile or Smartphone is increasing and is used for more complex things than before, especially with the new possibilities created by faster Internet connections and a better user experience on mobile devices.

Is Mobile the Next Big Thing?

This is a question that a number of providers asked a few years back when mobile was becoming ubiquitous as it seemed only natural to imagine that mobile would become a necessity and would change the way we do many things. However, the infrastructure in general was lacking and was not up-to-speed with pioneer thinking at the time.

Today, however, things are different – everything is matching up, mobile devices have become very powerful, they can deliver excellent user experience and Internet infrastructure can support adequate connectivity. Moreover, companies that have pioneered this medium are seeing impressive growth results in mobile spread betting growth revenue. Companies like IG  and City Index have for instance witnessed ballooning growth and now about 15% of their users use mobile devices to access the providers’ respective trading platforms.

The business industry hasn’t remained mute to the technological revolution and companies have developed platforms that are specifically designed for smartphones. In particular, financial spread betting providers are now entering the market with spread betting applications, which are now available for both iPhone and Android devices. These allow investors to make trades on the move and always stay on top of their portfolio. You may use applications provided by spread betting providers for smart phones to stay on top of latest price movements or keep up to date by checking the real-time news and price charts. These applications work on Android, iOS, Symbian and Blackberry platforms amongst others. These smart phone devices are designed to be able to handle all normal functions executed by a personal computer, such as the ability to view and trade your account or access advanced charting and technical analysis tools – with one difference that all this can be performed whilst on the go. The obvious benefit of mobile trading is the fact you are not purely limited to your desk computer and you can practically take a trade wherever you are and whenever you want.

“Spreadbetting groups such as ETX and Ayondo benefited from the growing popularity of smartphones, which allow customers to spread bet while away from the office or home. The spread betting providers have launched applications for iPhones, BlackBerrys and Google Android phones, as well as applications for tablets such as Apple’s iPad.”

What is going on between Android and iOS?

The original idea with this site was to provide market commentary and only market commentary, but I keep going back to my roots and just wanting to write about the current affairs in the Apple world. I just got a question from a friend, Dave Gordon, about how I saw things regarding Android and iOS.

Here’s the excerpt:

This is a very, very difficult question, and it’s likely I could write a 100 page essay but here’s a very brief view of things on the tech side.

Android is good enough to be a competitor to iOS. iOS is not better, but neither is Android. It’s like comparing two microwave ovens. They both do their jobs well enough for you to just go ahead and buy the one you like the most. I really don’t think there’s a huge technical difference on the software side. (Caveat emptor: I am not touching the app stores… they do matter but they are a topic of their own).

Samsung has been gaining market share by stealing it, not from Apple (well, maybe just a very little % from Apple), but from other Android handset makers. It hasn’t been because their UI (which is built above android… I can’t even remember the name) is better than others. It has just been marketing. If you’re Pepsi, you stir up the rivalry with Coke. You admit you’re number 2, because number 2 is 20 times more profitable than number 3. Have you seen how much money HTC makes compared to Samsung? Also, have you seen Samsung’s commercials? They basically ridicule iPhone users, but that is _exactly_ what they’re looking for.

Their market is composed of two kinds of people:

  1. a) People who ridicule iPhone users. People who go “look how awesome my Galaxy is, it recognizes my face and unlocks itself, I can say cheese and it takes a picture, it’s so much bigger than yours, and it’s open and…” you get the point.
  2. b) People who don’t care much about their phones.

Yes, I’m being intentionally obtuse here. Of course there are a lot of other types of users, but those are the users Samsung wants because a) will keep coming and b) they can steal from other android manufacturers.

Apple, on the other hand, is looking for people that wants nice things, and it just so happens that a LOT of people want nice things. I think John Gruber (The Daring Fireball… god I love that name), got it right by saying that the iPhone is most likely the nicest thing he owns. Most definitely not the most expensive, but definitely the nicest. iPhone users are more prone to buying things, as they are to use their phone to browse the internet. They might not know that the iPhone’s processor is designed by Apple but they don’t care and that’s fine. They don’t want to know. They just want a nice phone that works, and they are more than willing to pay the premium.

So, yeah, in the end, you’ll keep hearing about how Apple is growing stale, and it’s doomed if it doesn’t come up with a new product and yada, yada, yada. You hear that because, guess who writes those articles? Tech bloggers… who (for the most part) fit straight into a). They hate that Apple is the company that began their demise. We (developers and tech pundits) are a dying breed. We were mainstream and now we’re becoming a niche (just like the iPad is slowly but surely making a niche out of computers). They care about ram and bits and bytes. Nobody cares about that. Seriously, I’m a developer and I could care less if my iPhone has 10gb of ram and a quad core. I just want a phone that’s nice, and right now, the only nice phone on the market (on the hardware side, as I just explained software is good enough) is the iPhone. The moment a Windows Phone with excellent hardware comes, I’m prepared to jump ship, if only to try it. For now, I remain a staunch advocate that the iPhone 5 is a marvel of engineering.

Anyway, as I said, this is a huge, huge issue. I could write a book about it (seriously, I would if I had time), so I have to stop somewhere. Sorry if it’s a long read but I absolutely love this topic. It’s why I became a developer and why I started following AAPL.