Here’s the answer to a mystery you may not have even known existed: Why iPhonesand iPads in Apple ads are always set to 9:41 a.m. The Atlantic has done some digging and has found that Apple used to have its iPhones show the time 9:42 a.m. in ads because that was the exact time Steve Jobs first unveiled the device all the way back in January 2007. This lasted until 2010 when Jobs unveiled Apple’s next major new product, the iPad, exactly one minute earlier in the day at 9:41. And ever since then, it seems that 9:41 has been the standard time for all Apple products in ads, both new iPads and new iPhones alike.
The Atlantic points out that former iOS boss Scott Forstall actually revealed this secret back in 2010 when he explained how Apple times its keynotes to unveil the most important products at roughly the same time.
“We design the product launch keynotes so that the big reveal of the product happens around 40 minutes into the presentation,” Forstall explained. “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. 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.”
The more intriguing question is whether Apple will set the time in Apple Watch ads to whenever Tim Cook unveiled it at this year’s iPhone 6 event or if Apple Watches will be marketing with 9:41 plastered across their displays just as other Apple products are.