Steve Jobs had “Koumpounophobia,” a fear of buttons.
At last, the great Steve Jobs’ Achilles heel is revealed! Except it’s more like a wrist, surrounded by a conspicuously button-free cuff.
The Wall Street Journal fronts its paper today with a reach-around profile revealing that the Apple mogul has a pathological fear and loathing of buttons.
And it goes way beyond the sleekly buttonless iPhone. The elevator in Apple’s Tokyo stores has no floor buttons, forcing vistors to stop at every floor. That trademark black turtleneck that’s become his uniform for public appearances? See any buttons on that? And let’s not even get into his fight over putting buttons on the mouse, or requirement that early Macs be designed without arrow keys.
Apparently, anyone threatened by Jobs need only hold up one of those all-in-one stereo-TV-VCR-DVD remote controls to send him shrieking back to the shadows like Dracula confronted by a crucifix.
For most of his career, the button-banishing seemed like strokes of genius, but today’s papers suggest that run might be at an end. The New York Times also report that Apple’s shares slumped six percent on Tuesday after AT&T said the early surge of iPhone buyers starting service on its network was smaller than some analysts anticipated.
Actually, a lot smaller: only 146,000 signed up in the day and a half between the phone’s debut and the quarter’s end, while experts were expecting as many as 500,000 to 700,000, the Times reports.
The Times charitably inserts a caveat, that AT&T’s number “could also reflect the difficulty many iPhone customers had in activating their phones during the first few days.” Might it have been easier if they’d had buttons?