Donald Trump is obsessed with Jobs. Not the kind he's promised to bring back to America (to the skeptical eye-rolling of economists), but the kind that gave the world the iPhone, iPad, and Macintosh computer. Yes, Steve Jobs.
According to a Twitter search, Trump has tweeted about the Apple visionary with the same fervor as his other favorite subjects, such as China, global warming, or birds. A good deal of his Jobs tweets are quotes from the inventor, like this one, which he's tweeted four separate times:
Or this one, also tweeted four times:
Were Trump and Jobs friends? Is the President-elect Apple's biggest fanboy? What does he think about AirPods? Here's what I've been able to surmise so far.
As far as Twitter goes, all of Trump's comments were made after the tech icon died in 2011 from pancreatic cancer. Despite Trump's adoration for the company (a personal finance report showed that he owned between $1.1 million and $2.25 million in Apple stock), he appears dissatisfied with Apple's business dealings under the leadership of Tim Cook.
For example, why apologize to one of your biggest markets over customer service complaints when you can ostracize them, instead?
He once called for an Apple boycott after the FBI demanded a backdoor to a San Bernardino shooter's iPhone:
Trump also hates that many of Apple's devices are assembled from parts made in China. Last month, Trump told the New York Times he spoke to Cook on the phone after his election win. Trump allegedly said to the Apple CEO: "Tim, you know one of the things that will be a real achievement for me is when I get Apple to build a big plant in the United States, or many big plants in the United States…We're going for a very large tax cut for corporations, which you'll be happy about."
More recently, however, Trump has taken to tweeting about an issue that would have Jobs "spinning in his grave." You know, the size of the iPhone screen.
On Facebook, Trump once wrote that Tim Cook "must immediately increase the size of the screen on the iPhone. It should be slightly larger than the Samsung screen - and they better get it right fast because they will lose a lot of business. I like the larger screen."
It's not immediately clear why Trump was so preoccupied with iPhone sizes, aside from the fact that he doesn't like accusations about his hands looking small. As Cult of Mac, an Apple news site, pointed out several years ago, making the iPhone screen "slightly larger" than the Samsung screen (possibly the 6.3-inch Galaxy Mega) would result in a product close to the 7-inch iPad mini, which is just ridiculous. In a world already full of too-big-phones, even 5.5-inch ones are performatively huge for a lot of people.
Whether or not Trump has actually interacted with Jobs, I'm just not sure. In this Trump Organization video, he claims to have met Jobs "a number of times." I haven't been able to verify this, but it's strange that Trump never tweeted about it, considering his penchant for live-tweeting meetings with Very Important People. Hmmm.
I do know that he's fantasized about one-on-one time with Jobs, however. During an interview, Trump responded to a question about being marooned on an island with Jobs, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, and Herb Kelleher by saying: "We would find a way to order in and have a productive meeting at the same time."
So who knows. Maybe Trump identifies with Jobs, even though Jobs' own father, Abdul Fattah Jandali, was a Syrian immigrant and Trump has sworn to enact draconian policies aimed at hurting this very population of people. (The thought of Trump as president allegedly caused Steve Wozniak, Apple's co-founder and former friend of Jobs, to start "crying out loud.")
What's certain is that in spite of his Apple love, Trump still uses an Android. Oh, Steve.