That feature quickly came to Apple in 2000 in one of the earliest versions of its online store. “Licensing Amazon.com’s 1-Click patent and trademark will allow us to offer our customers an even easier and faster online buying experience,” Steve Jobs said at the time.
Apple’s corporate offices in Cupertino, California for most of its existence, tells the behind-the-scenes story of that decision. It was made with the usual gusto that Jobs—back at Apple for three years after having been thrown out of his own company—was known for. Mike Slade, Jobs’s special assistant from 1999–04.
One day in Steve’s office we were talking about some gadget, it was like in ’98 or early ’99, and he just went and bought it on Amazon. He was in awe about how cool it was to buy things with one click. So he called up Amazon and said, “Hey, this is Steve Jobs,” and licensed that one-click patent for a million bucks.