During the design process of the new iPhone, Steven Jobs approached business smart phone users directly and asked them what they would need in an iPhone for them to switch.
There were several responses, but more than any other it was the desire for immediate and simple syncing with Microsoft Outlook. Push email was and is a critical make it or break it issue with business customers who need to be able to retrieve their email on their phone and on the fly, without hassle.
Apple answered with just such a push email program that works with Outlook and that, combined with Apple's new App store, has even die hard RIM customers considering switching to the more modern, flashier iPhone.
Consider that HSBC is considering ending their relationship with RIM and opting instead to transition their workers to iPhones. This deal, if it happens, will result in a bulk order of up to 200,000 iPhones, perhaps the largest single purchase of the revolutionary handset to date.
In addition to getting a great sale, HSBC's decision to move to the iPhone would go far in shifting the public's perception of the iPhone as a business smart phone.
One of RIM's challenges is that its application programming interface (API's), are not only outdated but are not fully disclosed to would-be third party developers, making it difficult to create exciting applications.
This stands in stark contrast to the Apple model, in which developers are provided all the tools they need to produce fully functional applications that get attention. Bottom line: Apple currently is able to allow for applications to come to market faster than RIM.
RIM's Blackberry line has long dominated both business and government sectors, but if they wish to retain, indeed grow, such market share, they will have to become far more nimble in the release of new products.
Come on RIM. Get the Bold and Thunder out there and see if you have what it takes to stand toe to toe with the new and improved iPhone.