Steve Jobs’ prank call to Starbucks lives on

Steve Jobs##Q## prank call to Starbucks lives onOn January 4, 2007, I was fortunate enough to be one of the few thousand people in the audience at Moscone Westwhen Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone to the world. Most of us had been standing in line in a chilly pre-dawn San Francisco alley for hours, and between the lack of sleep and a need for warmth, all of us could have used coffee… lots of coffee.

So when Jobs demonstrated Google Maps integration by searching for a Starbucks, finding a local store and then calling and ordering 4,000 lattes to go, the entire audience went wild. That prank call will probably go down in history as one of the more famous ones ever made, and Fast Company has tracked down the barista who took the call to get her comments on that groundbreaking latte order.

It turns out that the young lady who answered the call — coincidentally the first public phone call ever made on an iPhone — Ying Hang “Hannah” Zhang (at right), is still a barista at the same Starbucks. She didn##Q##t know that it was Jobs making the prank call until after the event, when Apple fans began visiting the store and mentioning that the Apple CEO had playfully made the mass latte order.

To this date, the Starbucks store still receives prank calls from Apple fans who want to relive a bit of history. Zhang and her boss, while being interviewed by Fast Company, did a quick calculation and figured out that those of us in the audience would have waited 48 hours for our lattes.

Zhang told Fast Company that she wished she had known it was Jobs on the line, saying “she would##Q##ve loved to know what he was announcing — and, like a true Apple fan, when ##Q##the launch date##Q## would be.” She also “would##Q##ve asked him if he##Q##d want to come down to our store so I can make him the perfect drink.”

You can watch that famous call starting at about 4:50 in the video below.