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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The man who sold the iPhone
Submitted by mala on Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Gabey Goh
Tuesday, June 8th, 2010 14:49:00

ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY: Don't miss your chance to catch Borchers' speech at the Malaysian Media ConferenceIf you think that Bob Borchers looks familiar, he probably does. You might remember him as "the guy from that YouTube video" demonstrating how to use the then-newfangled gadget known as the iPhone.

That's right, Borchers holds the lofty title as the co-creator and was senior director of Worldwide Product Marketing for the iPhone.

With Apple since 2004 and as part of the original iPhone team, he was instrumental in the development, launch and global expansion of the revolutionary iPhone, iPhone OS, App Store and launch of the iPhone 3GS.

Now with venture capital firm Opus Capital (which means he can finally talk openly about his time with the famed fruit company), Borchers will be in town for the Malaysian Media Con­ference (MMC) held tomorrow.

In an email interview with The Malay Mail, he revealed that this will be his first visit to the country.

"What I have discovered in all my travels is that each culture, country and region is unique on nearly every level and I look forward to discovering what makes Malaysia special," noted the innovation icon, who began his ca­reer doing research and development in prosthetics.
We talk with the "iPhone Guru" on what made the iPod such a hit, and what the future holds for entrepre­neurs in the mobile economy:

What made the iPod the phenom­enon it was - and still is - to this day?

The formula that made the iPod an amazing success has many of the same ingredients as the iPhone. It's all got to do with great hardware coupled with amazing design, an intuitive interface and a great way to buy digital music.

Others have tried to copy or mimic one or two of these elements, but no one has been able to recreate the en­tire ecosystem. Now you can use your iPod in nearly every car made, you can plug it into airplanes and hotels around the world and you can even get it to talk with your favourite shoes.

What lessons did you take from the marketing of the iPod and imple­ment for the iPhone?
Simplicity! The iPod was "1,000 songs in your pocket". Nothing more, nothing less. With the iPhone it was, "a revolu­tionary phone, a great Internet device, and the best iPod we ever created". No notion of HSDPA+ with 1,200mAh of battery weighing 124 grams. Consum­ers buy value, not specifications.

Was there a theme or an overarch­ing idea when the iPhone was first conceptualised and designed?

Make a phone that people can fall in love with.

You have said that 4G is still largely talk and that the killer app to unlock the power of the upgraded net­works has yet to reveal itself. Would you like to venture a guess on what type of app it will be?

4G is all about packet data and has a lot of interesting value for the carriers, but so far not much for the consumer. There is the promise of much higher bandwidth, but the big question is "what will consume all that band­width?".

At the moment my best guess is that the biggest impact 4G will have for phone owners is cheaper and more ubiquitous data on the go which will really allow you to be truly mobile.
The killer app for 3G was the mobile Internet and I think 4G will be about the next generation mobile Internet.

What are the biggest challenges for developing countries, in terms of harnessing and creating entrepre­neurial opportunities in the mobile economy?

I see tremendous opportunity for innovation within developing coun­tries where entrepreneurs look at the successful models from other markets and then adapt them to the unique characteristics of the local market.

A great example of this is a portfolio company - Pudding Media. These en­trepreneurs have looked at the explo­sion of mobile advertising and have asked, "How do we translate that to a market where very few people have data plans and use mobile browsers?".

The answer is SMS - the most widely used mobile data ser­vice on the planet. My mantra for developing markets is: think global, execute locally.

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