Why it’s always 9:41 on Apple’s iPhone 6/Plus

“In the land of the iPhone 6 — Apple’s version of it, at least — it is always, it seems, 9:41,” Megan Garber reports for The Atlantic. “And that is, like pretty much else at Apple, by design. Even the time on Apple’s ubiquitous phone carries a marketing message.”

“You can trace the origins of Apple’s perma-clock back to January of 2007, when Steve Jobs gave his much-anticipated keynote at the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco. The Apple CEO strode onstage right at 9:00 a.m.; about 35 minutes into his presentation, he… went on to announce: ‘Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone,'” Garber reports. “The screen behind him flashed to a picture of the first iPhone. It was 9:42 a.m.”

“Because of that, in Apple’s marketing literature for the new phone, the displays read 9:42. The new phones were pegged to the keynote—which is another way of saying that they were pegged to Steve Jobs,” Garber reports. “The tradition has continued, like so many Jobsian legacies, with every big new product Apple has launched…”

Read more in the full article here.

23 Comments

      1. PS: It would be nice if MDN gave up some ad space to show a photo related to the article. This article is a prime example of where a photo would be very helpful in understanding the article.

  1. Let me be the first to say…

    This don’t make no frickin’ sense. At 9:35, Jobs unveiled the iPhone, which said it was 9:42, so all the iPhone photos show it as 9:41?

    Ummmmm…?

    1. Let me be the first to explain it to you:
      ” The Apple CEO strode onstage right at 9:00 a.m.; about 35 minutes into his presentation, he said, “This is a day I have been looking forward to for two and a half years.” Jobs went on to explain that “every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything.” And then he went on to announce: “Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone.”

      The screen behind him flashed to a picture of the first iPhone.

      It was 9:42 a.m.”

      it took him almost 7 minutes to show the iPhone.
      Read the damn article…..
      watch the damn video. NOTE the video STARTS with Steve Jobs saying…. “This is a day I have been looking forward to for two and a half years.”
      THEN note the TIME you see the iPhone…

        1. This 9:41 time story is ALWAYS brought up every year…. I wonder if Apple fans have any memory at times.

          Oh look, from April this year..
          http://www.tuaw.com/2014/04/14/why-9-41-am-is-the-always-the-time-displayed-on-iphones-and-ipad/

          And btw my video explaining the time ends up being wrong.. I was taking the 6:36 time into the video from the article.. Read the TUAW article. Jobs took stage at 9:41.. You can SEE the 9:42 Apple promo’s in the link.

          Apple CHANGED the time to 9:41 shortly after.

          oh look… this same story from 2010…
          http://www.networkworld.com/article/2230364/smartphones/mystery-solved–why-time-stands-still-at-9-42-on-iphone.html

          another from 2012..
          http://www.businessinsider.com/iphone-ad-942-2012-2?op=1

    2. I read the actual article, and it points out that having 9:41 on the phones is not necessarily an homage to the original iPhone launch. Instead it has to do with keynote addresses in general. Paraphrased from the article: “We want the picture of the iPad/iPhone clocks to be as close to the real audience time as possible, and since most of these announcements are 40 minutes into the presentation, we generally set the clock to 9:41 or 9:42, etc.”

      1. Because it looks pleasing, almost like the watch is smiling. I think they’ve done studies with watches set to 10:10 and 8:20 in jewellers windows and the ones set to 10:10 sell more.

      2. That’s one of my favorite questions.

        It nicely frames the logo of the watch company many of which are just under the 12 on the watch face.

        Of course you don’t want the hands of the watch overlapping, and there is a symmetry about 10:10.

        The shape of the hands gives a “V” look as a smiley look or “V” for Victory.

        Thanks for asking that. I’ll follow up with another trivia question. What time was used before 10:10?

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