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More Bloomberg users turn to Apple devices for financial information

Financial professionals have historically relied on relied on devices like BlackBerries (s bbry) and boxy Bloomberg terminals to stay informed. In the last three years, however, more of them are turning to iPhones and iPads (s aapl) to stay in touch and keep up with crucial market information.

This shift in behavior helps explain Bloomberg’s decision to update its iPad app this week to include deeper research layers and the company’s messaging system which is popular at elite financial firms like Goldman Sachs. Bloomberg said it used eye scanners and heat maps to design the new app, which looks like this:

Bloomberg ipad app

A Bloomberg spokesperson said the iPad app has been “by far the fastest growing platform” among its subscribers, who each pay around $20,000 for an annual license. In the past, most Bloomberg users licensed a hardware terminal (“the Bloomberg box” — see a 1996 version below) but now two thirds of them opt instead for “Bloomberg Anywhere,” which lets them log in to various devices though a portable finger-print reader.

John Waanders, the Head of Bloomberg Mobile, said the company has been on BlackBerry since 2001 and then expanded to early mobile Bloomberg terminal old schooldevices like pagers and WAP browsers. Since then, it has added a Twitter feed and an app store that features an app called “Angry Bonds.”

In the last few years, Waanders said traders have come to seek out the “lean back” experience associated with tablets, and that 38,000 of them are using the iPad app. This represents a little over 10 percent of the company’s estimated 313,000 global subscribers.

Bloomberg would not comment on the ratio of Apple to BlackBerry users among its customers but said that 50 percent of Bloomberg mobile users accessed the service on more than one device.

The company is owned by the mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, and competes with Thomson Reuters (s tri) to provide financial information to the financial sector.

Clarification: an early version of this story said 80% of users subscribe to “Bloomberg Anywhere”; the number is two thirds.

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