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What’s Special about 9:41 a.m. for Apple?

When the folks at Apple get something into their collective heads, it can last for years. For example, since 2007, all of their marketing material for products with screens -- such as phones, watches and tablets – displays the same time of day. Back when the first iPhone was unveiled in 2007, that time was 9:42. These days, it's 9:41.

It all goes back to Steve Jobs' first presentation of the iPhone. About 42 minutes into his speech, he said, “Today, Apple is going to reinvent the phone.” Behind him, a photo of the revolutionary phone appeared, and the time on that phone was 9:42. In 2010, when the iPad was launched, the big reveal came a minute earlier, at 9:41.

Former iOS chief Scott Forstall explained, "We design the keynotes so that the big reveal of the product happens around 40 minutes into the presentation. 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."

Apple through the years:

  • The first Apple computer was hand-built by company co-founder Steve Wozniak. In 1976, the Apple I came as a kit and sold for $666 USD. More than 200 units were sold by the Byte Shop, an early computer store.
  • Jobs introduced the Macintosh at the company's annual shareholders meeting on 24 January 1984. At $2,495 USD, the Macintosh was the first affordable computer to offer a graphic user interface.
  • Apple's $399 USD portable music player, the iPod, quickly became one of the company's top-selling products after its release in 2001. "You can fit your whole music library in your pocket," Jobs liked to say.
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