MetaTrader’s iOS issue opens brokers’ eyes to other trading platform providers

In a surprising (or-not-so-surprising) move, Apple has removed MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 from its App Store in a huge blow for the leading FX trading platform provider.

“Following a unilateral decision of Apple which was outside the control of MetaQuotes, MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 for the iOS operating system will not be available for download in the Apple App Store, as of today”, MetaQuotes wrote in an email.

“Metaquotes is taking all the actions required, in an effort to restore the apps the soonest possible”, the email added.

The fact is that complaints against MetaQuotes were mounting, with the most high profile case being covered by Forbes earlier this month – about super scam ‘Pig Butchering’ and how it used MetaTrader to defraud investors. Apple spokesperson Adam Dema told Forbes the company was investigating complaints about MetaTrader, and would take additional action to protect App Store users if necessary.

It seems that the ‘additional action’ was taken, even though MetaQuotes had reportedly taken action of its own a couple of months ago. The firm had allegedly made it harder for white label providers to onboard clients.

It is still unclear whether the issues with the iOS mobile apps will be resolved soon for the delight of brokers and traders or will Google follow the example and cut MT4 and MT5 out of its Play Store.

Although the decision was made quietly on Friday, the news quickly reached the whole FX industry, which is already scrambling to find solutions for brokers that have put all their eggs in one basket.

The reality is there are plenty of solutions for brokers besides MetaTrader despite the flocking behavior that has been around for years. Many, if not most brokers across the globe have been making efforts to diversify their portfolio of trading platforms in recent years for many reasons. One of them is the acknowledgment that legacy platforms aren’t able to keep up with the technological advancements and the demands from traders.

The pros and cons of a legacy platform

We spoke with Jon Light, VP of Trading Solutions at Devexperts, to ascertain his opinion on the matter of legacy platforms. While admitting the FX/CFD industry is in a strange situation with regards to having support legacy platforms, he stated the newer breed of traders seems to be forcing changes.

“For nearly 20 years, out of the box platforms for brokers have helped create a large FX/CFD retail market that opened up trading to everyone. This standardised the offering, and made it easy and cheap to setup the technology part of a brokerage. The only other solution was to have something built in-house, which is obviously more expensive and complex.

“After so much time the industry is now locked into this way of working, making it hard for existing brokers to move and new entrants simply offer the same as everyone else. Experienced traders are so used to the legacy platforms which are now the standard it has become a must have part of a brokers offering”, Jon Light stated, while pointing to a new breed of traders who are not only mobile first, but mobile only. “This type of trader demands easy to use, exciting mobile applications.”

“The problem with legacy tech is getting locked into the same offering as everyone else, especially when users have moved on in terms of their expectations. You also see a new breed of brokers that demand modern technology and practices. These brokers have new ideas and differing business models which requires a flexible platform that can grow with them and their direction.”