President Obama’s Chief campaign adviser has spilled the beans on a meeting that took place before Obama entered the White House.
In an upcoming book entitled Believer, David Axelrod tells of how Steve Jobs came for a private meeting with Obama in 2007, in which Jobs reportedly showed the future President the original iPhone before it was released. After seeing the device which went on to change mobile technology as we knew it, Obama reportedly said: “If it were legal, I would buy a boatload of Apple stock. This thing is going to be really big,” writes Seth Weintraub of 9to5mac.com.
Given that Apple stock was trading at $12-14 per share at the time, Obama would have been sitting on a pretty penny by now.
Mixed reactions to the iPhone
One man that certainly did not see the potential of the iPhone was Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft at the time. Ballmer famously dismissed the iPhone, in contrast to Andy Rubin of Google. Rubin was travelling through :as Vegas watching the presentation of the new smartphone, and was so enthralled that he told his cab driver to pull over.
According to a book by Fred Vogelstein, Rubin then completely changed Google’s Android strategy based on what he had seen from Apple. Ballmer is presumably reconsidering his own reaction to the launch of the iPhone given that Apple reportedly sold 74.5 million iPhones in the first quarter of this year, driving the company to the highest quarterly profit in its history.
Strict security protocols
As well as showing off the device to the future President, Jobs reportedly came very close to revealing the new smartphone to a FedEx employee. The delivery worker was dropping off a package to Jobs’ home, where he was working with the iPhone team. Jobs nonchalantly walked to the door with an iPhone in his hands, before hiding it behind his back.
One former Apple employee told Business Insider that this was completely out of line with the secrecy that surrounded the iPhone, and the FedEx employee came perilously close to seeing the as yet unreleased product.
Neither the FedEx employee nor Barack Obama bought a “boatload of Apple stock,” but the iPhone did go on to change the landscape of mobile technology.