The Day Steve Jobs Called AT&T with iPhone Woes


Photo: Lacy Atkins / The Chronicle
Photo: Lacy Atkins / The Chronicle

David Kelley and Steve Jobs have a lot in common. Kelley, the designer of Apple’s original mouse, was diagnosed with throat cancer back in 2007.

In addition to working with Apple on the mouse project, Jobs introduced Kelley to his wife. When Kelley was in the hospital, Jobs came to visit his old friend. And just like any well-wisher, he didn’t come empty handed.

Instead of flowers or candy, Jobs brought Kelley, who went on to found seminal design firm IDEO, the very first iPhone as a “get well” present. There was just one small problem: Jobs couldn’t get the iPhone to work.

“When I was sick in the hospital, Steve brought me the very first iPhone, and he sat there bedside,” Kelley recalls. “He was trying to get it connected to AT&T. There he was, on the phone with someone at AT&T, who probably had no idea she was talking to the real Steve Jobs.”

Kelley, photographed for the long feature in the SF Chronicle looking vaguely like a cross between Steve Jobs and film director Maurizio Nichetti, has a lot of great anecdotes about working with Apple. My favorite: the part about the prototypes for the first mouse which include some unorthodox stand-ins.

Via SF Gate


  • Pdsn

    Was it before or after the iPhone was announced?

  • BulletToothTony

    If you keep posting spoilers from the book i will stop visiting your website.. give it a few days please.. 

  • Hal Summers

    Signing in on the first iPhone was a nightmare.  Took me three days until they finally got it right.  I sent Randall Stevenson an email expressing my displeasure and copied Steve Jobs. I heard back from Steve Jobs within a couple of hours.  I’m still waiting to hear back from Stevenson.  I finally got it working because AppleCare called ATT and told them what to do.  They finally got it straight and I’ve had an iPhone ever since.

  • Ruiner

    This does it. All CoM has done since that bio leaked last weak is ruin the book for everyone. Device and software rumours are fun, but ruining a quality read is just disgusting. This site has really gone downhill in the past few months. Especially the attention to spelling and grammar. I think I’ll go back to reading other sites until you get your sh*t together. Y’all remind me of those jerks that come out of a movie theatre telling everyone in line for the next showing what happened. You should all be drug out into the street and stoned to death with bricked iDevices!

  • Ehamawi

    Jesus STOP talking about the book…I have the book and I already hate reading the first half because all these sites fucking ruin it and just copy paste what everyone says…Might as well just watch the movie when it comes out in 5 years since I can read the book back to everyone thanks to sites like this one..Why do I even come here

  • Fitz

    Did someone hold a gun to your head and force you to read the spoilers?

  • nthnm

    Why did you continue reading the article? Moron.

  • nthnm

    Why did you continue reading the article? Moron.

  • Dilbert A

    Jesus STOP coming to COM and complaining about people talking about the book…If you have the book and haven’t read the first half because you’re too busy visiting all these sites and fucking ruining it for yourself, you might as well just watch the movie in 5 years since you obviously bought a book but cant read thanks to the poor education you received from the public school system, your parents, God, and Santa Claus..Why do you even come here?

  • Dilbert A

    Did someone hold your nuts and force you to read the spoilers?

  • Dilbert A

    Baby wanna bottle?

  • John Neumann

    I’m not sure why all the hate. It’s not like you don’t know how the book ends fercripesake!

    (only read 1/3 of it yesterday myself)

  • prometheus1981

    I would love to hear the conversation between Steve and the AT&T rep.