Why do Apple ads of iPhone & iPad show 9:41 AM?


Why do Apple ads of iPhone & iPad show 9:41 AM?

Most of the sharp eyes out there would have noticed the time displayed in Apple iDevice (iPhone, iPad) ads and found a recurring pattern in it. They always show 9:41 or 9:42. It is quite popular to show analog clocks at 10:10 because that is the time when both the hands of the clock are symmetrical as well as give sufficient gap to show the make/model of the clock.


But what is so special about 9:41am? Does that time signify something special and auspicious to Apple in general and Steve Jobs in particular?

Nope. Nothing extraordinary about that time. The reason is attributed to the perfectionist characteristic of Jobs.

When Steve Jobs orchestrated the launch event of iPhone during Macworld 2007, it was a presentation on stage carried out by Jobs for more than an hour. During such presentations (called Keynote in Apple’s jargon), he starts with some introductory slides, company sales-report and in the middle of keynote, generally launches a new product with ads on the big screen on stage. As per Jobs calculations (from prior rehearsals), the iPhone ad was supposed to be shown on the screen at 9:41 AM. So he had asked his advertising division well in advance to prepare ads with the device showing 9:41!!


Finally, on the launch date, during the carefully planned presentation, when Jobs showed the slide containing iPhone TV commercial, it showed 9:41am in the ad and the time in the auditorium was also 9:41. The following excerpt from a live blog by engadget shows that exactly at 9:41, Steve announced iPhone to the world.


The legacy continued and he followed such a method for his subsequent launches with the iPad and for the subsequent generations of iPhones & iPads as well.





That was the kind of attention to details paid by Jobs and this quality has trickled down to his successors as well. For Jobs, it did not matter whether the participants in the auditorium noticed it or not because he was always of the opinion that even if nobody notices it, one should always be answerable to his/her own conscience.

The following quote gives an idea of his philosophy:

“When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.” -Steve Jobs

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