Apple Has an Unboxing Room to Test Hundreds of Variants of their Product Packaging

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Apr 12, 2001
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iPod nano packaging photo by iLounge
From an advance copy of Adam Lashinsky's upcoming Inside Apple book, NetworkWorld notes an interesting bit of information about how Apple approaches retail packaging.

Perhaps it should be no surprise, given the elegance of some of Apple's product packages, but Apple is said to have a secretive packaging room where a package designer goes through hundreds of iterations to find the right combination:
One after another, the designer created and tested an endless series of arrows, colors, and tapes for a tiny tab designed to show the consumer where to pull back the invisible, full-bleed sticker adhered to the top of the clear iPod box. Getting it just right was this particular designer's obsession.

What's more, it wasn't just about one box. The tabs were placed so that when Apple's factory packed multiple boxes for shipping to retail stores, there was a natural negative space between the boxes that protected and preserved the tab.
NetworkWorld also points back to an old internal video created by Microsoft's own packaging team as a humorous look at branding and packaging issues for marketers. The video imagines if Microsoft were to redesign the iPod retail packaging:

Apple's obsession with even the product packaging is a reflection on Steve Jobs' views of the matter. Both Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive are known to have spent time on the packaging of their products. From Walter Issacson's Steve Jobs biography:
"Steve and I spend a lot of time on the packaging," said Ive. "I love the process of unpacking something. You design a ritual of unpacking to make the product feel special. Packaging can be theater, it can create a story."
Article Link: Apple Has an Unboxing Room to Test Hundreds of Variants of their Product Packaging
 

Icaras

macrumors 603
Mar 18, 2008
6,070
2,597
"Steve and I spend a lot of time on the packaging," said Ive. "I love the process of unpacking something. You design a ritual of unpacking to make the product feel magical. Packaging can be theater, it can create a story."
Fixed. :)
 

Macman45

macrumors G5
Jul 29, 2011
13,199
133
Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
I love that quote....And it's true, most stuff I buy I just rip the packaging off it to get at the contents....With Apple, it's different, I really enjoy the experience of opening up their stuff, and I have all the original boxes for all my Apple products.

A testing room? Well....Think different :)
 

G4DP

macrumors 65816
Mar 28, 2007
1,451
3
You are kidding me?

Are we going to get an article on "Apple has a restroom"?

Are we going to have a made up quote from Ive, saying he and Steve "sPent lots of time in the bathroom together?

Arn, please bring the site back from this sort of carp.
 

SiriusExcelsior

macrumors regular
Dec 6, 2003
113
4
Canis Major
You are kidding me?

Are we going to get an article on "Apple has a restroom"?

Are we going to have a made up quote from Ive, saying he and Steve "sPent lots of time in the bathroom together?

Arn, please bring the site back from this sort of carp.
I found it interesting. I doubt many companies have a secret room to test out packaging. Not many big companies make packaging that's worth keeping, either. You're welcome to not read this article if it grates you so much. :cool:

(..And that sounds like something that would be said on Engadget or something, before sending them to MacRumors/Apple Secrets/Gizmodo/etc..)
 

verwon

macrumors 68030
Jul 26, 2011
2,676
2
Seattle
You are kidding me?

Are we going to get an article on "Apple has a restroom"?

Are we going to have a made up quote from Ive, saying he and Steve "sPent lots of time in the bathroom together?

Arn, please bring the site back from this sort of carp.
There's already articles out about Steve soaking his feet in the toilets!
 

BobbyRond

macrumors regular
Dec 13, 2011
139
0
The Hague, The Netherlands
Why is everyone criticizing MacRumors so much?

Apple does a lot more than just Macs nowadays and you all probably check MR a few times a day (I do anyway) and I'd rather read something than look at the same article dating back to December 28th (Ivy Bridge processor launch date) until there is something new to report.

If the article doesn't interest you, skip it.
 

G4DP

macrumors 65816
Mar 28, 2007
1,451
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A few of us are voicing opinions about the site because of two things.

Firstly, the quality of the articles posted has fallen. Secondly, anything now gets posted as "Front Page" news. There was a time, when only important things made it to the front page. Substantial rumours about a new product. Unlike now however, where everything and anything appears to be posted.

It appears to some of us, we know it is just a few, that the site is no longer about quality but page clicks.
 

Steve121178

macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
5,233
4,410
Bedfordshire, UK
It's just packaging! Who cares!

(Why am I even commenting on a thread about packaging..?)

----------

I love that quote....And it's true, most stuff I buy I just rip the packaging off it to get at the contents....With Apple, it's different, I really enjoy the experience of opening up their stuff, and I have all the original boxes for all my Apple products.

A testing room? Well....Think different :)
"I really enjoy the experience of opening up their stuff"

Seriously?

No offence meant, but your life sounds a little empty.
 

greygray

macrumors 68000
Oct 22, 2009
1,848
1
It's just packaging! Who cares!

(Why am I even commenting on a thread about packaging..?)

----------



"I really enjoy the experience of opening up their stuff"

Seriously?

No offence meant, but your life sounds a little empty.
To each his own, IMO. The experience of turning something seemingly mundane (unboxing products) is much more fun when you realize that Apple takes careful consideration in every product's packaging and this eye-for-detail is reflected in the final product. As such, opening an Apple packaging is no longer something usual but rather, a new experience that represents money well-spent.

I wouldn't want to say that someone's life is empty merely by defining life as 'the opening of packages making one happy'. If so, I could say that the browsing of a rumor site online validates my point and thus, I can say that your life is a little empty too, for the fact that you could be having so much more 'fun' doing something else rather than visiting MacRumors.
 

batchtaster

macrumors 65816
Mar 3, 2008
1,031
217
Does not surprise me in the least.

To the incredulous, Apple designs the entire experience, end-to-end. This should come as no surprise considering the attention to detail in the Apple Stores and iTunes, their distribution channels. So why is attention to the packaging so hard to believe? "It's just a box". It's just a computer, just a store, just a music player, just a phone. So why would do we care about the polished glass and the brushed aluminium of the product itself, when internally a Mac is largly indistinguishable from a regular Intel PC? We just do, because it's a Mac and it's from Apple.

Part of the end-to-end experience is having the thoughtfully designed product inside a thoughtfully designed box. And, really, if they couldn't even design a decent box, what hope would there be for a decent gizmothingybob within? As they say, first impressions count.
 

twietee

macrumors 603
Jan 24, 2012
5,298
1,557
as i'm not a native speaker, i just visited the thread if i understood the topic right...couldn't believe it.

but then again: hope to unbox a new mac pro soon...
 

MonkeySee....

macrumors 68040
Sep 24, 2010
3,858
435
UK
What's with all the hate, people?

Just enjoy the whole experience. From buying, to opening, to using. Thats what its all about!

And thanks MacRumours. I didn't know Apple had this room until you posted it so ignore the moans.
 

Steve121178

macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
5,233
4,410
Bedfordshire, UK
To each his own, IMO. The experience of turning something seemingly mundane (unboxing products) is much more fun when you realize that Apple takes careful consideration in every product's packaging and this eye-for-detail is reflected in the final product. As such, opening an Apple packaging is no longer something usual but rather, a new experience that represents money well-spent.
My iPhone was packaged no different to my previous phone, HTC Desire (small white box, everything packed tightly inside)

My MacBook Air was packaged no different to my VAIO (small thin but sturdy box, sheet over the keyboard protecting the screen, laptop sealed etc).

Apple are doing exactly the same as everyone else who sells "premium" goods.
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

G4DP said:
You are kidding me?

Are we going to get an article on "Apple has a restroom"?

Are we going to have a made up quote from Ive, saying he and Steve "sPent lots of time in the bathroom together?

Arn, please bring the site back from this sort of carp.
http://blog.zachklein.com/post/33211013/sign-in-bathroom-at-apple-headquarters-via-alex
 
Last edited:
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