Apple has reaffirmed its commitment to selling 10m iPhones in its first year on sale as it moves to appeal to the business markets in competition with BlackBerry.

The comments made by COO Tim Cook at a Goldman Sachs investment conference in the US come as the mobile phone maker also announced that it was launching the handset in Ireland on 14 March.

Apple has given no hint as to what business tools it will offer but many business users have opened expressed a want for a BlackBerry-style instant email system and the ability to search contacts by more than just first or last name.

Apple has said that it will detail the software roadmap for the iPhone at its Town Hall event in Cupertino.

On the invite to journalists to the event, the company features the words Enterprise, Software Update and SDK referring to the promised software developers' kit for third party companies to create applications for the iPhone.

Apple has so far launched new products or made a key business announcement every Tuesday since the beginning of 2008. The 6 March event will break with this run of announcements. It will be held on the Thursday instead.