Who is John Appleseed?

Posted in Apple on 11/05/2017 by J. Glenn Künzler

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For a long time Apple has been using a person named John Appleseed to demo the iPhone and other devices during their famous keynotes. If you’re looking to find out the history of this alias, you came to the right place.

Who is “John Appleseed” and where did he originally come from?

Updated: Even today, Apple still uses the famous name John Appleseed. This name, or better an alias, was originally created by the second Apple CEO – Mike Markkula. In 1980’s he was a software developer responsible for some of Apple’s product roll-outs. Specifically, he worked on programs for the Apple II. At that time, he would use the identity of John Appleseed as a placeholder for names, demos, troubleshooting sessions, and presentations. This identity stuck around throughout times, and created a persona that appears more than just a random alias. Apple’s history reminds us that great companies are build on great stories. This is just one of many from Apple’s company treasure chest.

John Appleseed

John Appleseed calling on iPhone

On the other hand, according to Wikipedia, Johnny Appleseed (notice the difference in the first name) was the pioneer who introduced apple trees to Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. He was actually born John Chapman, but obviously with his involvement in apples, the name change is self-explanatory.

He was an American legend in his lifetime, because of his kindness and generosity, and he was also a member of the New Church, which taught the doctrines of Swedish thinker Emmanuel Swedenborg. That’s Johnny Appleseed the actual person …and enough about him.

Final Answer: Apple’s John Appleseed pseudonym comes from former Apple CEO Mike Markkula, who used the name as his alias while publishing software for the Apple II.

It makes perfect sense that Apple chose Mike Markkula’s alias as the demo user for such things as Mail and iOS caller ID.

John Appleseed on Twitter

John Appleseed tweeting on iPhone


Author

J. Glenn Künzler

Glenn is Managing Editor at MacTrast, and has been using a Mac since he bought his first MacBook Pro in 2006. Now he’s up to his neck in Apple, and owns an old iBook, a 2012 iMac with an extra Thunderbolt display for good measure, a 4th-generation iPad, an iPad mini, 2 iPhones, and a Mac Mini that lives at the neighbor’s house. He lives in a small town in Utah, enjoys bacon more than you can possibly imagine, and is severely addicted to pie.