So what gives? Why do most official photos of Apple products show the same time?
As one might expect, nothing about Apple's advertising efforts is ever left to pure chance. Consequently, there's actually a rather interesting explanation as to why the 9:41 AM timestamp is so darn prevalent.
Back in April of 2010, developer Jon Manning was at an Apple retail store in Palo Alto for the original iPad launch when he found himself in the company of former iOS chief Scott Forstall. Curious about Apple's quirky and ever-present display time, Manning asked Forstall if there was any rhyme or reason behind it.
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 just to be safe, Forstall explained, Apple added another extra minute or two to provide a little bit of a cushion in the event of any slight holdups or delays.
And lo and behold, if we go back to Engadget's liveblog of Steve Jobs unveiling the iPhone, check out when the iPhone portion of the event got started -- 9:41 and 9:42 right on the dot!