According to an email obtained by Bloomberg, JPMorgan Chase & Co will be handing out free iPads to all associates in its global investment banking division (that's investment bankers for you and me).
In a pilot program to last until May 2011, the bankers will trial the device to see how well it fares as an additional mobile tool as well as being allowed to take advantage of the device for personal use.
"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," said two New York-based JPMorgan managing directors in the email.
The news comes as the BlackBerry trend at Wall Street seems to be shifting more and more towards the iPhone and the iPad. It's no secret the Apple is pushing hard to expand from its well-established consumer market into the corporate world.
Bloomberg reports that banks including Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse Group AG have recently revealed apps built for the iPad, and that Citi Group and Bank of America are considering the iPhone as an option for their employees.
According to Brian Marshal, an analyst at Gleacher & Co, "Apple represents a clear and present danger for RIM going forward. 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."
BlackBerry's PlayBook, which is being touted as a real competitor to the iPad, is due out next year. RIM has got some serious catching up to do considering Apple's head start into the tablet-computing world. However, the question is, though the PlayBook seems to fare better against the first generation iPad, will it be able to compete as well with the iPad 2 (rumored for release early next year)? And whether Wall Street's BlackBerry faithful can hold out until next year for the the PlayBook's release?