The iPhone, Android, and Forex Trading

By: Hillel Fuld

** Since this article was originally published the world of mobile trading has blossomed. As we predicted, most brokers now offer trading apps, and you can also access Forex analysis and markets updates from any mobile device. Quickly access the Forex market with Daily Forex's mobile app now!

In 2010, there are markets that dominate their space with close to no competition. Among the financial markets, the Forex industry, and more specifically the retail trading market is booming.

All together, the Forex market generates over a whopping 3 trillion dollars traded daily. I think we can all agree that is a pretty impressive number. However, just to clarify, that does not mean that 3 trillion dollars are passed hand to hand daily, the way the Forex trading arena works, almost all transactions are virtual. What that means is when you “buy” one currency vs. another, you do not actually hold that money in your hand, but rather you are trading its value. Only once you withdraw your funds are you able to actually see and hold your money.

Tangible or not, 3 trillion dollars is a number that other markets, such as stocks or commodities, cannot even dream of achieving. As a result of this astronomical number, many people, especially in today’s shaky financial climate, are looking to the Forex market as a safe haven. They are quitting their day jobs with the hope to make a quick fortune trading currencies. Unfortunately, the statistics show that 90% of those traders lose their money in Forex, but that is a discussion for a different time.

Another outcome of the size of Forex is the ever growing number of Forex brokers. New Forex brokers are popping up daily and sometimes hourly, and each one is of course interested in standing out from the rest. The question that occupies these brokers is what aspect of their Forex service to focus on. What will bring the most attention to their brokerage? Unfortunately, if I am judging by what I have seen, most of these brokers have not yet figured out the answer.

Another market that is dominating its space is of course the mobile industry. Among the different technology markets, mobile is definitely one of the largest and most spoken about in the past few years. Depending who you ask, the numbers vary, but everyone agrees, it is a multi billion dollar industry.

The mobile space has evolved a lot since the beginning of the decade. It was not long ago when all the mobile manufacturers were very focused on hardware, and more specifically, who can make the thinnest mobile device? In today’s market, the phone’s hardware is close to irrelevant, with the dominating factor being the ecosystem of the device, its operating system, and most importantly, its accompanying apps.

You cannot say the words “mobile apps” without mentioning the industry leader, Apple, with their revolutionary mobile device, the iPhone. The iPhone has a store front, in which consumers can download mobile apps for their phones, and the latest numbers show over two billion downloads and over 150,000 apps being hosted in the App Store.

These two industries, mobile and Forex are huge, both in their own right, with their respective target audiences. However, the alliance that these two markets are forming seems to be progressing too slowly. The world is changing fast and the technology world even faster, so there is no time to sit around and think. Forex brokers need to jump on the bandwagon and get in the mobile game.

This means many things to the average broker. The most basic advancement that needs to be made in Forex is the availability of Forex trading platforms on the mobile phone. Whether it is a Web based environment, a Java-based app, or a full fledged native app for smartphones, all Forex brokers should offer their customers the ability to trade on the go with a mobile FX platform.

To say this new trend has not begun would be a lie. Many Forex brokers have started to make the shift to the Forex mobile market, but the numbers are nearly not where they should be. Additionally, even the brokers that are on the “cutting edge” and do offer mobile trading, do not offer their trading platforms across mobile systems.

Some brokers offer a trading platform on BlackBerry, while others have an iPhone app. I have come across brokers who offer their platform for Windows Mobile devices, but I have yet to come across an Android-based Forex trading platform. To confirm my suspicion, I simply searched the Android App Market for the word Forex, and out of the 30,000 apps available on the market, there were four results with the word Forex.

Out of those four results, none were trading platforms belonging to a certain broker. There was a Forex tool, an economic calendar, an app that enables you to access the trading platform on your PC, and one that allows you to access your Forex account, but not to trade.

Just in case you were wondering, Android is Google’s debut into the mobile market, and I am sure you know, when Google enters an industry, they change it forever. Most experts predict that Android will be a dominant player in the mobile scene over the next few years, which begs the question “How are there no Forex trading platforms available for Android?”

The answer is simple. The Forex industry, unlike many others, does not ignore the latest trends. You can find a Forex presence on social media for example. However, what seems to be the pattern forming is that the Forex market and its leading players, does not know how to cope with these developments. They do not know how to utilize these tools to maximize the Forex trading experience. The mobile industry is just another case of Forex confusion.

It is a step in the right direction that some brokers are taking mobile into account, and allowing forex cellphone trading, but in order to make the most of this natural synergy between mobile and Forex, the Forex players have to jump into the deep water. I am predicting that the first Forex broker to offer full native mobile FX clients for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Maemo, and Symbian will make it and make it big.

Now the question remains, who will that be? Ava FX (now known as AvaTrade)? eToro? GFCMarkets? You, the market’s leading brokers are always telling us how we will strike it rich if we trade with you, so now we say to you, develop mobile apps to allow us to trade more efficiently, and we will be happy to trade with you. Create quality mobile FX apps with mobile FX charts and other Forex tools to be available on the cellphone.

To turn the tables, I, the Forex trader am now promising you, the brokers, success in the Forex market. According to all the numbers, dedicating resources to develop mobile apps will increase your revenue significantly, and unlike Forex trading itself, the risk is very low and the results immediate.