Former VP of marketing at Apple talks iPhone, Steve Jobs, and more at the 99U conference

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Apple’s former Vice President of Marketing Allison Johnson talked about her time at Apple during the 99U conference, as reported by Cult of Mac. Johnson now works with companies like Jawbone and Anki.

In the video, Johnson discusses her time working with Steve Jobs, including his response to the iPhone 4 “antenna-gate” issue. Johnson describe’s Jobs as being “so sad and so angry” about the problem, declaring that Apple would not be the kind of company that people regarded negatively.

She also talks about her role (and Jobs’) in marketing the original iPhone and other key events in the six years she was in charge of the company’s marketing.

The full twenty-five minute interview is included below:


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  1. Scott (@ScooterComputer) - 9 years ago

    And yet Apple went on to CONTINUE SELLING that same phone, that same design…they STILL are! Even though the antenna design was “fixed” in the 4S, they still sell that broken design. Sigh. Yeah, SJ was “so sad and so angry”. Sure.

    I’m calling shenanigans. If Apple was so broken up about it, they would have dropped the iPhone 4 design and instead “upgraded” the iPhone 4S chassis with an iPhone 4-level A4 cpu and motherboard and still called it the “iPhone 4”. It would not have required FCC recertification, little design cost, just a board modification. They didn’t. They instead chose to flog the profit benefits of the lifecycle of the existing iPhone 4 manufacturing line. And they continue to do so to this day where it benefits them to sell broken old tech to very poor people. So, bullshit.

    • Clint (@ClintAustin26) - 9 years ago

      You seem unreasonably worked up about it.

      • Scott (@ScooterComputer) - 9 years ago

        I don’t believe I am “unreasonably” or “worked up” about it. It is a lie. And if Apple tells it enough times, and it does not get challenged, it will be believed. I don’t think that Apple, its customers, or society at large is best served by living a delusion. That is not an “unreasonable” position. That the “fascade” has been allowed to prosper, without question, for so long, I think is worthy of concern. I worked closely with (and for) Apple in the 1990s, I know firsthand the damage this leads to. The assertion that Apple is great and glorious and Steve Jobs was infallible needs to be challenged. it isn’t, he wasn’t, and expressing that is neither unreasonable nor proof of being worked up.

    • Vladimir Chogoleff - 9 years ago

      You always have to buy a case no matter what kind of iPhone you have. iPhone 4 was the best phone at that time. Apple found a best resolution by giving people the free case and fix the issue in the next cycle. I have so many friends who still using iPhone 4 with a case and just happy to have it.

      • amitvedant - 9 years ago

        I use 4 without a case and it works great. :)

      • Tallest Skil - 9 years ago

        Well, that’s wrong.

    • Tallest Skil - 9 years ago


      Hey. Idiot. Guess what. It wasn’t broken in the first place.

  2. It’s 99U :-)