There’s a reason for everything at Apple. And that even includes the time displayed on the devices in promotional materials. It even extends to print ads and television commercials.
That time used to be 9:42. You could see it across various commercials, print ads, and even on Apple’s site itself. The explanation was simple: That’s the time in the morning that Steve Jobsannounced the very first iPhone in 2007. Around 42 minutes into his keynote address, he said, “Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone.”
And a picture of the iPhone, displaying the time 9:42, popped up on the screen behind him.
But that all changed in 2010, when the very first iPad was released. When that was revealed, it displayed a different time: 9:41.
If you check Apple’s site right now, the time set on the devices is always 9:41. And not just on iPhones. Macs, too.
But why did the time change? It’s all very simple, according to former iOS chief Scott Forstall, who happened to divulge the secret to Australia-based app developer Jon Manning of Secret Lab.
“We design the keynotes so that the big reveal of the product happens around 40 minutes into the presentation,” Forestall said. “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.”
They made the iPhone time be 9:42 and were pretty accurate. Very accurate, in fact. Jobs announced the phone at exactly 9:42, according to Engadget’s live blog of the event.
So for the iPad they decided to go with 9:41, for no real reason at all. “And there you are — the secret of the magic time,” Forstall told Manning.