Tech Industry Analyst Michael Gartenberg officially joins Apple’s marketing team

According to Forbes, long time technology analyst Michael Gartenberg has joined Apple. According to the report he is now officially working under the marketing team led by Phil Schiller. Gartenberg has always been Apple-focused/leaning in his coverage and a contributor to Macworld magazine among other endeavors.

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T-Mobile increases down payment on iPhone 5 to $149, forgot to tell you the $99/down was introductory pricing

T-Mobile-iPhone-5-pricing

When T-Mobile introduced the iPhone 5 for $99 down, many were quick to point out that the device would cost much less than the $649 Apple charges, costing customers a total of $579 after completing T-Mobile’s $20/month, 24 month payment plan. However, T-Mobile didn’t talk much about the fact that $99 down price point was introductory pricing that would eventually increase. Today marks the end of T-Mobile’s introductory pricing, as noted by TmoNews, with the carrier increasing the minimum down payment on an iPhone 5 for qualified customers to $149 for the entry level 16GB model.

All other models of the iPhone will see the same $50 increase with the 32GB and 64GB models now requiring a $249 and $349 down payment on T-Mobile 24 month payment plan. Despite the increase, it still gives T-Mobile the cheapest pricing on iPhone 5 around with the total cost of the entry level 16GB model now $629. That’s $20 less than the retail price of the unlocked device.

Although today marks the end of introductory promotional pricing for the iPhone 5 on T-Mobile, the carrier will continue to offer its trade in offer on previous generation iPhones to allow customers to get an iPhone 5 for $0 down. Read more

Advertising tricks Samsung uses to win over Apple fans

While Samsung does not think Apple can compete in the television market (and it is not alone), the company is moving aggressively to win over Apple’s fan base with the now infamous ‘Samsunged’ campaign— a cornerstone of the South Korean conglomerate’s communications strategy. So, who is behind those pesky adverts? Director Bobby Farrelly, who is the brother of movie director Peter Farrelly of the “There’s Something About Mary,” “Dumb and Dumber” and “Kingpin fame.”

However, it was Samsung’s ad agency 72andSunny that hired Farrelly to film a series of anti-Apple adverts depicting bored Apple fans waiting in line for a new iPhone. The mocking began last November and culminated with a 90-second Super Bowl commercial for the 5.3-inch Galaxy Tab device with a stylus. An interesting profile by AdWeek revealed some of the secrets and tactics marketers use to talk iPhone fans into considering Samsung products for their next gadget.

Click here for key takeaways.

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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:

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Best Buy and Taiwanese tablet vendor borrow marketing cues from Apple ahead of Super Bowl advertising craze


last year’s 

The iPhone maker is many things to many people and it is easy to overlook Apple’s powerful marketing amidst the popularity of its gadgets. Yet, the two are inseparably intertwined. No wonder well-known names in business are (again) taking cues from Apple’s marketing cookbook, including United States specialty retailer of consumer electronics Best Buy that uncharacteristically decided to break away from the usual Super Bowl advertising featuring celebrities, which seems to be norm these days.

Instead, its new approach calls for celebrating technology innovators, a concept Apple popularized back in 1997 with the “Think Different” campaign. According to Bloomberg, the retailer opted to feature Silicon Valley inventors, such as Instagram cofounder Kevin Systrom and camera phone pioneer Philippe Kahn who will help bring home the message at Sunday’s big game. From the mouth of Best Buy’s Marketing Chief Drew Panayiotou:

Big brands like to hire celebrities. We looked at everyone from George Clooney to Stephen Colbert. We believe the inventors are more than enough. I give those 125 million viewers a lot of credit. I think they’ll appreciate the story. [...] They may not be at the same level as Steve Jobs, but they created some amazing stuff.

Eagle-eyed readers could point out that the retailer last holiday season aired Apple-focused adverts promoting its store-within-a-store displays, seen below. However, Best Buy’s latest creative concept marks a departure from its past Super Bowl campaigns that tapped celebrities, such as heavy metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne and teen heartthrob Justin Bieber. Meanwhile, a Taiwanese vendor is treading the fine line between originality and a display of disrespectfulness by featuring a Steve Jobs imitator to drum up excitement for its upcoming Android slab. Check it out that commercial in a clip included right after the break.

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Samsunged: TV advert slams Apple’s iPhone over lack of stock turn-by-turn navigation software

Samsung is continuing its anti-Apple rant with a new television commercial titled “Samsunged.” Once more, the South Korean conglomerate laughs off those who would wait in line for a new iPhone. The commercial opens with the familiar scene as line waiters get a visit from their Galaxy SII-toting friend, and they promptly feel envious over his phone’s turn-by-turn navigation capabilities.

When asked by a girl waiting in the line how much he had paid for the navigation app, the Android person responded: “I didn’t, Galaxy S II just has it – it just comes with it.”  To that, one of the Apple fans remarked angrily: “Ooooh, we just got Samsunged!”

It is also worth noting that the advertisement subtly pokes fun at the iPhone 4S’s same design as the iPhone 4, as well as its widely reported battery issues. The commercial starts out with the line’s awaiting customers eagerly watching a streaming video of the device they are hoping to buy being unveiled online, and upon seeing the device, one customer sighed: “Awe, that looks like last year’s phone.” The scene immediately transitions into the Galaxy S II user bringing his friends a white smartphone charger, presumably because their device’s battery is almost dead.

Apple fans are obviously going to be seeing more of these advertisements as the Super Bowl approaches. It is certainly interesting, though, that these commercials paint Samsung customers as hipsters.

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