Creating the iPhone: Words From a Former Apple Engineer

Creating the iPhone: Words From a Former Apple Engineer

Former iPhone product marketing engineer Bob Borchers, known for his appearances in some of Apple’s “Guided Tour” videos, recently gave a lecture at a California school in which he emphasized the importance of innovation.

Among other things, reports MacNN, Borchers recounted his experiences during the early days of the iPhone’s development, leading up to the device’s introduction, as well as what he’s doing now that he left Apple.

What’s interesting is that the challenge Steve laid out for us when we created the iPhone wasn’t to make a touch-screen device that would play apps and do all of this stuff. His [charge] was simple. He wanted to create the first phone that people would fall in love with. That’s what he told us.

A recurring theme throughout the lecture was that Steve Jobs didn’t just assemble teams of people to create products. The iPhone wasn’t just about running apps and “carrying the internet in your pocket”. Instead, Steve Jobs provided his teams with an idea. A mission. A charge to create products that were intuitive, and that people loved so much they never wanted to be without. Rather than focus on features and specifications with the iPhone, he wanted engineers to focus on the experience. Everything else evolved from that basis.

Borchers also broke down Apple’s success into a series of ideas that characterize Apple throughout the years: Break the rules, pay attention to details, and make people “think different” about how they relate to their device.

The entire lecture contains many more fascinating nuggets, such as how Steve Jobs persuaded Corning to begin making Gorilla Glass again (the original iPhone almost shipped with a plastic screen), Apple’s well-known obsession with product packaging, Steve Jobs’ dealings with AT&T on the original iPhone launch, and more.

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