John Fortt at Fortune interviews Apple’s marketing lead for two of its most popular products, the iPhone and iPod, Greg Joswiak. Greg is credited for pushing for the 14-inch iBook despite Steve Job’s misgivings. The product has since turned into one of Apple’s best sellers. I wonder if he had any say in the terrible design of the In-Ear iPod Headphones? Nevertheless, I’m a big fan of Apple products and their marketing.
For a long time you managed Apple’s Mac laptop business, which is also going gangbusters these days, and I know you were really involved in discussions about how those products were designed and positioned in the product family. How was that job different from managing the iPod and iPhone?
First of all I manage product marketing and product management — I don’t actually own the engineering. But we work very closely with them, as you know, on the features we create and what the product’s going to be about. I look in a lot of ways at some of the similarities.
The first similarity you’ve heard me talk about before: Apple is in a pretty unique position because we’re a world-class hardware designer and a world-class software designer. It’s rare enough to be on one of those lists, and we’re the only company I can think of that’s on both of those lists. So whenever we design a product, we try to take advantage of that capability that we have, to engineer the hardware and the software together so we can take full advantage of each.