The iPhone’s popularity with consumers was illogical to rivals
such as RIM, Nokia Corp. and Motorola Inc. The phone’s battery
lasted less than eight hours, it operated on an older, slower
second-generation network, and, as Mr. Lazaridis predicted, music,
video and other downloads strained AT&T’s network. RIM now faced
an adversary it didn’t understand.
“By all rights the product should have failed, but it did not,”
said David Yach, RIM’s chief technology officer. To Mr. Yach and
other senior RIM executives, Apple changed the competitive
landscape by shifting the raison d’être of smartphones from
something that was functional to a product that was beautiful.
“I learned that beauty matters…. RIM was caught incredulous that
people wanted to buy this thing,” Mr. Yach says.