The image above, currently running on Apple's U.S. website, depicts the iPhone 6 in its now-familiar grande and venti sizes. It is, you may notice, similar to other images of the phone that have run in marketing materials across the Internet, including this one:
And this one:
And this one:
In the land of the iPhone 6—Apple's version of it, at least—it is always, it seems, 9:41. 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 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.
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.