Why 9:41 Is the Official Time of Apple Product Photos

iPad timeEvery iteration of the iPhone's mockups showed the time as 9:42. The iPad showed it as 9:41. It's slightly peculiar—the times are grouped tightly enough to be intentional, but why those numbers? Why not 9:00? Network World investigated.

Turns out Apple's keynote organizers think about this stuff right down to the tiniest detail—and this is certainly one of the tinier details. They rehearse the presentation with Steve Jobs, Phil Schiller, and whoever else will be speaking, and time it so the big announcement comes 40 minutes in. They add a couple minutes to be on the safe side.

That means that when Apple puts that most important slide up, the one introducing the new hardware, the time on the static image of the device will be damned close to the time the packed room of journalists sees it for the first time. It's just one more example of how carefully Apple prepares everything—that's a detail we didn't know about until a couple days ago, and they've been doing it for years, with no fanfare. Very cool, right?

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  • Guy

    Here's what I figured out. 941. The ninth letter in the alphabet is i. The first letter of four is f. And if u and i + f+ one = ifone. So what do u think about that.

  • Joseph Engo

    There are a few iPhone commercials that show 8:42 ... not sure if its a screw up or the fact that the commercial was related to being on the way to work and showing 9:42 might give the wrong impression.

  • daniel gurrola

    Is not 9:41 is 9:42 as Michael Barnard said. It's because when they introduce the first iPhone, was at that time :).

  • Michael Barnard

    Just saw an iPhone commercial on ESPN and the time on the iPhone was 9:42... interesting to say the least... consistency is key is it not?

  • J.R. Merlan

    I've been an Apple user for almost 10 years and I don't think Apple "carefully prepares" everything. However, I do think this is a detail in the department that Apple is best at, which is Marketing.

  • Nicholas Rovisa

    As cool as this, it's not surprising at all. I myself wondered about the time, but never looked into. A company like Apple over-plans for everything they make, say, wear, etc. and that is why they have gotten to be so successful and influential-->Every decision is calculated.

    If you think about it though, it's really no different than giving a powerpoint presentation in class and having a watch by your side to tell you how long it's been. Only their watch is a 40 foot tall iPad. Pretty awesome.

    Good little piece Dan!