Obama Was An iPhone Fanboy Before Everyone Else


2007 Apple was the very embodiment of secrecy. If you didn’t have an Apple employee badge, you probably had no idea what was coming next.

Unless you’re a senator from Illinois with damned good odds of becoming the president of the United States, that is. Then you get to play with the iPhone before the rest of the world.

David Axelrod, chief campaign adviser to Barack Obama during his 2008 campaign, is writing a memoir of his time in politics. He briefly touches on a meeting between Obama and Steve Jobs, and 9to5Mac found a quote:

In 2007, Obama got a sneak peek at the iPhone during a private meeting with Apple’s Steve Jobs. “If it were legal, I would buy a boatload of Apple stock. This thing is going to be really big,” Obama said after the meeting.

The iPhone has changed a lot since then, of course. The iPhone of 2007 was 2G only, and with not a single (native) third-party app beyond what Apple provided. But the foundation for the many iPhones that followed was there — and Barack Obama liked it. Alas, government security rules have kept him from using an iPhone of his own since his election.

For reference: around the time Barack Obama was half-joking that he wished he could invest, Apple stock (adjusted for recent stock splits and what not) was around $14. Today, it’s worth a bit over 8x that.