Japan’s SoftBank has released the first mobile phone aimed at stock traders. Produced by Sharp, the SoftBank 920SH YK (picture below) enables real-time portfolio checking and online trading. While other phones offer stock trading options, the YK is designed specifically for it. What is new with this phone is the Stock Trading Key, a dedicated button that allows one-touch trading. The phone's screen is also optimized for stock watching. SoftBank has a fold-out horizontal screen fueled by AQUOS (makers of LCD TVs) that makes market watching easier, as the phone when unfolded looks like a tiny PC (or something that Kirk and Adam West would have fought over).

The YK uses E*Trade; users need an account with SBI securities to manage their portfolios. It also allows after-market and night trading, and it the only phone that allow this. The SoftBank 920SH YH also has Bluetooth, 3G, Global Roaming Service, and the standard multimedia.

Popular in Japan for several years (as with all things cell), cell phone trading remains an emerging market in other countries.

By Mark Alvarez