Maybe you can thank Steve Jobs' pettiness for the iPhone Stocks app icon

Apple Stocks app icon
(Image credit: Apple / iMore)

You probably don't open it all that often and some might forget it's there. Others might have deleted it ages ago, but did you know that the iPhone Stocks app has a hidden secret?

That secret is all about how it came about that famous icon. The one that shows a stock going up and the blue line pinpointing a very specific point at the crest of a wave. You know the one, right?

Well, did you know that the icon shows the point when Apple's share value surpassed that of Dell way back when? Well, now you do.

You'll never guess why

I'll fess up because I didn't know that either. But according to Mac Life and designer Andres Storm, it's the case. And that isn't the end of it, either.

The story goes that Dell founder Michael Dell famously suggested that Apple be sold off, saying that the best course of action would be to "give the money back to the shareholders." Apple wasn't doing great in 1997, see. But when things turned around Jobs didn't forget.

So when Apple's share price surpassed that of Dell's in January 2006, Jobs remembered what Dell had said. And it's that point in time that's reflected in the icon that appears on every iPhone around the world.

Without that point in time, we likely wouldn't have everything we have today. No iPhone 15 just around the corner, and the best iPhone would probably be a Motorola ROKR. And that would just be sad, wouldn't it?

Unless of course, this is all just the thing of myth and legend, in which case it's even better. Because let's be absolutely honest here, what makes this so brilliant is that we could all absolutely imagine Jobs having someone make the Stocks icon this way just to annoy Michael Dell.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

  • Iconoclysm
    Pettiness? That's not pettiness. Dell's comments were outrageous for any company to say about another.
  • Just_Me_D
    Good story though.
  • Wotchered
    Good job,Jobs !
  • FFR
    Bet mike really enjoys looking at it every day on his iPhone.