iPad Day: 9:41 AM

iPad Day: 9:41 AM

Originally Posted on April 6, 2010

In which Secret Lab waits for an iPad and learns secrets from Scott Forstall

The iPad has had some interesting effects on the geek community at large. The majority of us love it, and a rather vocal minority hate it. They hate it for a variety of reasons – some because of a perceived lack of openness, some because they don’t see the point in using it, and some who just seem to be jealous.

But I’m not talking about that today!

After getting in to the Apple Store (to much cheering and apparently genuine joy on the part of the apple employees), I happened to see Scott Forstall wander in to the store. He was looking about happily as the population of Palo Alto expressed their adoration and love, $499 at a time.

I was planning on going up to him and saying hi, but then I noticed something.

The time on the images of the iPad had changed.

All promotional images of the iPhone show the time as 9:42 AM. Nobody knew the exact reason why, though theories abound.

But on the iPad, the time is shown as 9:41 AM. Hmm.

I wandered up to Scott, who was leaning against a table showcasing the new device, introduced myself, and got right down to business.

“Why’s the time changed? Heck, why does the iPhone show 9:42 in the first place?”

Scott looked around conspiratorially, and then chuckled.

“You want to know the real reason for that time?”

I nodded, with no small amount of eager anticipation.

“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.”

“So you add a couple of minutes.”

“Yeah! 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.”

“So what you’re saying is that you picked a number close enough to suit your needs, and used it in the keynote and all promotional images.”

“Yep! It’s as simple as that.”

I thanked Scott, and wandered off in a happy Apple-induced daze. A mystery was solved, and I had an iPad in my hands. It was a good day.

Jon Manning
Lead Developer