While it still seems like yesterday to me, Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone more than six years ago to a huge crowd at Macworld in San Francisco.
One of the more humorous parts of the presentation on Jan. 9, 2007 happened when Jobs was showing off Google Maps on the iPhone. Jobs searches for Starbucks, and brings up a specific store close to Moscone West. He then dialed up the coffee shop in what was the first real public call from the new handset.
After the Starbucks employee answered the phone, Jobs famously asked:
“Yes, I’d like to order 4,000 lattes to go, please. No, just kidding. Wrong number. Goodbye!”
You can see the call for yourself here starting at around the 5:45 mark of the video. Click here if you can’t see it.
Fast Company was able to track down that employee, Ying Hang “Hannah” Zhang:
Sincere and sweet, Hannah has been working at the same Starbucks for more than a half-decade. “Honestly, I was shocked,” she recalls. “I have never heard somebody order 4,000 lattes to go. I didn’t say anything because I was shocked. But my first impression was that he was just being humorous. He sounded like a gentleman.”…
Hannah, who was all smiles when we caught up with her recently at the same Starbucks location, only learned afterward that it was Jobs who had placed the impossible order. She first found out from customers making a pilgrimage to the location, and now feels a sense of pride that the Apple cofounder chose her store. “Customers would sometimes come up to me and go, ‘Did you know somebody at your store actually talked to Steve Jobs?’ I feel very happy and lucky that I had a chance to actually talk to him. It means a lot to me that he picked our Starbucks,” explains Hannah, wearing her green Starbucks apron. “My friends were surprised and jealous, like, ‘Wow, you got a chance to talk to Steve Jobs?’ They say to me, ‘You should’ve said more! You just say Good morning and How can I help you.’”
And yes, the store still gets calls for that huge amount of coffee:
Funny enough, now orders for 4,000 lattes are more common, thanks to the endless droves of Apple fanboys still wanting to partake in some aspect of Jobs’s legacy. “Before him, no [we never received such an order],” Hannah says. “After he made the call, everyone copied him, prank calling our store and ordering thousands of lattes–to this day!”
Stories like this make me wish that Jobs was still here to make more prank calls. For some reason I can’t exactly see Tim Cook doing the same thing on stage.