On all the ads for new Apple products, the time is always 9:41. If you haven’t noticed that yet, we bet you’re going to look for it from now on. People might think it has some strategic, coded meaning, but the explanation is pretty simple — and meaningful.
The tradition started back in 2007, when Steve Jobs gave a keynote at the Macworld Conference and introduced the very first iPhone to the world. When he finished the announcement and the iPhone flashed on the big screen, it was 9:42 a.m. After that, Apple stuck with the time stamp in its marketing plans.
To this day, ads reflect the time stamp of when the last big announcement was made. So why the one-minute change to 9:41? It happened when iPad was unveiled in 2010.
Here’s an explanation from Scott Forestall in 2010 when he was senior vice president of iPhone software:
“We design the product launch keynotes so that the big reveal of the product happens around 40 minutes into the presentation. When the big image of the product appears on screen, we want the time shown to be close to the actual time on the audience’s watches. But we know we won’t hit 40 minutes exactly. And for the iPhone, we made it 42 minutes,” he said. “It turned out we were pretty accurate with that estimate, so for the iPad, we made it 41 minutes. And there you are — the secret of the magic time.”
There you have it: proof that when it comes to Apple’s yearly keynote address, every last detail is perfectly planned. And proof that Steve Jobs’s legacy will keep on keepin’ on.