JPMorgan Equips Bankers with iPads

JPMorgan will be giving its investment bankers iPads, according to a report from Bloomberg. Citing internal e-mails, Bloomberg reported that JPMorgan will be distributing the devices to all associates in its investment banking division for free, and that those employees will be able to keep their iPads as long as they stay employed through May 2011, when the plot program concludes.

In those e-mails, two managing directors for the firm were quoted as saying, “We believe there are real benefits in our working environment that can be realized using this device - as well as the personal productivity and enjoyment that come as part of the package.”

Ostensibly, these bankers will be using their iPads to access their corporate e-mail (long a strong suit of Research In Motion’s BlackBerry platform), their contacts, calendar, and read or annotate PDF files. No word on whether or not Angry Bird will get some screen time, but our money is on the “definitely” side of that question.

Angry Birds aside, the managing directors also said in their e-mails, ““There are a variety of ways to leverage the iPad. Some work off-the-shelf whilst others rely on JPMorgan software/security tools. Depending on its success we will evaluate if we should repeat this one time initiative and/or expand it to others.”

In its coverage of this development, Bloomberg characterized iPad’s move into one of the largest banks on the planet a “clear and present danger to RIM.” Wall Street was an early adopter of the BlackBerry, but Apple has been making inroads into the world of finance even while RIM has had difficulty making inroads into the consumer space.

If JPMorgan finds success with its iPad pilot program, it represents lost potential for RIM’s own tablet, the BlackBerry PlayBook, as well as a further foot in the corporate door for Apple.