European bankers love their iPhones

Apple mobile devices were everywhere at EuroFinance in Geneva last week

For investors looking for evidence that Apple (aapl) is making headway in the corporate market, Jonny Evans' report in Computerworld Monday will warm their hearts.

He was in Geneva last week for EuroFinance 2010, the 19th annual international cash and treasury management conference. It was a gathering of treasurers, bankers and, CFOs ("people who roll with big, big, big money") where, he reports, iPads were being given away as door prizes and "iPhones were everywhere, sometimes a BlackBerry in one hand, an iPhone in another."

"You could argue this is purely cosmetic," he writes. "It is not. The evolution of the mobile smartphone apps ecosystem has these most staid of business professionals excited."

Among the signs he spotted that Apple has gained a growing foothold in this all-important market (and I quote):

  • Bloomberg is producing an iPad app for subscribers to its world-class financial information service.
  • BNP Paribas this week announced that its NeoLink client portal is now available on iPad.
  • Every other bank seems to compelled to produce non-consumer iPhone apps for their corporate clients.

Why all the activity?

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Screen size is part of it. So is connectivity, as well as the evolution of the iwallet as RFID-based devices become payment systems. But the main driver is the App Store.

"The relative affordability of app development make it possible for larger and small firms to develop software that answers their specific needs at a cost they can sustain.

"This is an opportunity that's being embraced by corporations -- who, might I point out, were not talking about Android at last week's event -- and this represents a seismic shift in terms of how Apple is regarded by those at the very top of the enterprise technology tree."

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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