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Former Apple exec Bob Borchers talks Apple marketing, packaging, and his time at Apple

Update: Apple had these videos taken offline.  We will make an effort to see if they exist somewhere else. Help us out in the comments if you find them.

Former Apple marketing executive Bob Borchers, who was part of the original iPhone team and helped lead the Nike+iPod partnership and third-party iPod integration with car manufacturers, recently gave a talk at a school in California to discuss his experiences at Apple (part 2 below). In case you are unfamiliar, you might remember Borchers from several “guided tour” videos for iPhone and other Apple products a few years back. He has also been a source for many of the interesting stories coming from Adam Lashinsky’s new book “Inside Apple.”

At the starting of his talk to students, Borchers surveys the crowd to find out the ratio of Android users to iPhone users, leading him to joke: “Alright that’s good. I’ll keep my Apple stock.” As a former marketing executive, Borchers showed and talked about a few ads, but also discussed the AT&T partnership, as he noted, “We broke rules in terms of how we worked with folks like AT&T”:

“AT&T as a company… they buy the cellphones and then they sell them to you and I… we said, ‘no we don’t want to do that’. We want to be able to sell the iPhone. We want to be able to talk directly to the customer. That was a big, big change for the industry.” 

Other than telling some recent stories that have debuted in “Inside Apple,” Borchers also talked about Steve Jobs’ initial mission to create the iPhone, describing the late CEO as wanting to create “the first phone people would fall in love with.” He also discussed how important the multitouch display and having the full “Internet in your pocket” was to the original concept. Before wrapping up his speech, Borchers talked about how the iPhone was developed from his point of view on the product marketing/product management team and the importance of Apple packaging:

“Our job was really to establish what the iPhone was going to be, and to work with all the engineers and everybody else to create that product… when we decided we wanted to do touch technology, i would then go work with the design team [etc]… If you think of an orchestra… our job was to be the conductor.”

Borchers discussed Apple’s obsession with attention to detail and gives the example of iPhone packaging: “One of the things that Apple is absolutely passionate about… and we spend too much time on… but as consumers I think you recognize it as being really important… you spend time doing even the silly stuff… like making sure the packaging is perfect… so when you open up an Apple product… you’ll see that it’s beautifully designed… that’s the attention to detail Steve was famous for.”

As for the Gizmodo iPhone “nightmare”:

“It’s like losing your keys only a hundred times worse cause Steve Jobs is going to come running after you. It was a big deal… but it’s a human process… occasionally people make mistakes… the iPhone has been ok.”

These days Borchers is a partner at Opus Capital, investing in startups after the iPhone business grew so much that, “it wasn’t as much innovation as it was just kind of keeping things moving forward.” He wanted to “go back to small again.” You can check out part two of the Borchers talk below.

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Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.