The Apple brand is very picky when it comes to details and we often find a logical reason to Apple's choice. That even includes the time displayed on the devices used in advertising campaigns. Yes, you know, it's always the same time on the iPhone, iPad and Mac in the TV spots or the press: 9:41 am. You can do a test by visiting the Apple Store.
The story goes back to January 9, 2007, the day Steve Jobs gave a highly anticipated keynote address at MacWorld, San Francisco. The deceased chairman had been pacing the stage since 9 am, the very stage where he had formelerly announced a new product to come. After a long opening sequence, he turned to the audience and said "This is the day I've been expecting for two and a half years." Steve Jobs then said: "Occasionally, a revolutionary product comes along and changes everything," before adding: "Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone."
The giant screen installed behind him revealed a world exclusive iPhone. The room applauded wildly. It was about 9:42 am, as displayed by the giant illustration that appeared. The live cover by Engadget at that time confirms it.
Since that day, the marketing science of Apple has never missed an opportunity to use this symbol. Unobtrusively, the company has linked the creation of the iPhone to Steve Jobs in a tribute to him.
Why is it 9:41 now?
The tradition has been continued with the iPad, which brings us to why 9:41 is now displayed on promotional materials. Here is what Scott Forstall, vice president of iOS load between 2007 and 2012 said about it (quote from Quora Social Network).
We design the product launch keynotes so that the big revelation of the product happens around 40 minutes into the presentation. When the large representation of the product appears on screen, we want the time shown on the display 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.