Nathan Roach


Lawyer, Advisor, Investor, Entrepreneur.


Apple's Presentation Mastery - Why time stands still at 9:42 on iPhone

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Network World writers wondered why "every picture of every iPhone in every Apple ad shows the time as 9:42."

As it turns out, the answer is based upon the timing of the Keynote presentations. An Apple VP explained:

"We design the (product launch) 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."

If you wanted evidence that Steve Jobs and co. are truly the masters of public presentation, it doesn't get much stronger than this. Attorneys, sales reps, and many other professions require presentations to juries, clients, or the public at large. But how often do you run across a presenter who bothers to make sure that embedded images in the presentation are actually keyed to the projected time that the image will be discussed on screen?

Not only are these guys anticipating the time their screenshots will appear on screen, they're actually honing their timing down to the minute and correcting based on analysis of prior presentations. Perhaps that borders on obsessive-complusive behavior, but it shows that they really sweat the details.

Are you this prepared for your next oral argument?