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


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."

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
113 months ago

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
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
113 months ago
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
113 months ago

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.


You mean this packaging...




Ask yourself when the iPhone came out and then when the HTC Desire came out.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
113 months 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 :)
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
113 months ago

The video is hilarious.


...and stunningly accurate.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
113 months ago
the most interesting thing here is the video :D its hilarious!
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

'iPhone 12 mini' Name Reappears in Leaked Apple iPhone 12 Case Stickers

Friday September 25, 2020 1:58 am PDT by
Earlier this week a proven leaker claimed that the iPhone 12 lineup would be named "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max," and today the same nomenclature has appeared again in a photo depicting alleged stickers from unreleased Silicone iPhone cases originating from Apple's international distribution center in Ireland. The photo shows three stickers with the...

New Images Leak of iPhone 12 Braided USB-C to Lightning Cable

Thursday September 24, 2020 2:37 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple's upcoming iPhone 12 models will ship with a new Lightning to USB-C cable that includes a braided fabric design. Images of the purported cables were leaked in July, and today leaker Mr White has shared new images that give us a closer look at what we might get included in the iPhone 12 box. The photos show a USB-C to Lightning cable with a clearly braided design rather...

New Version of Microsoft Office Coming Next Year That Won't Require a Subscription

Thursday September 24, 2020 1:53 am PDT by
Microsoft will next year offer a new perpetual release of Microsoft Office for Mac and Windows that doesn't require a subscription to use, according to the software giant (via Windows Central). "Microsoft Office will also see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021," said Microsoft in a blog post announcing the next version of its Exchange server,...

Apple Releases iOS 14.0.1 With Fix for Bug That Resets Default Apps After Rebooting

Thursday September 24, 2020 10:12 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 14.0.1, the first update to the iOS 14 operating system that was released on September 16. Today's update is a bug fix update addressing issues that weren't able to be fixed in the initial iOS 14 launch. The iOS 14.0.1 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. ...

Apple's iPhone 12 Event Could Happen on October 13 Based on Rumors From Mobile Operators

Wednesday September 23, 2020 11:51 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone-centric event could perhaps be held on Tuesday, October 13, according to information shared with MacRumors by an employee at a UK cellular carrier. There's no way for us to confirm the dates at this point in time nor are we sure on the credibility of the source, but even without a rumor, Tuesday, October 13 is a good guess based on Apple's historic launch timelines, ...

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.7 With Fixes for WiFi Bug, 27-Inch iMac Graphics Issues

Thursday September 24, 2020 10:32 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Catalina 10.15.7, the latest update to the macOS Catalina software. macOS Catalina 10.15.7 fixes several major bugs that Mac users have been experiencing, and it comes a month after the latest macOS Catalina release. The ‌‌‌macOS Catalina‌‌‌ 10.15.6 Supplemental Update can be downloaded from the Mac App Store using the Update feature in the System...

Apple Designs Custom Face Mask for Corporate and Retail Employees [Updated with Unboxing]

Wednesday September 9, 2020 11:13 am PDT by
Apple's design team has created a new kind of protective mask that's being distributed to retail and corporate employees, reports Bloomberg. The mask is called the Apple Face Mask and it was developed in-house in Cupertino by the Engineering and Industrial Design teams at Apple. Last week, an Apple employee sent MacRumors an image of the mask design, which can be seen up above. The Apple ...

Video Offers Closer Look at Apple Face Mask

Friday September 25, 2020 5:25 am PDT by
YouTube channel Unbox Therapy has today shared a new video giving a closer look at Apple's reusable face masks for corporate and retail employees. Apple's own face mask was designed by the company's Engineering and Industrial Design teams amid the global health crisis for corporate and retail employees, and the boxes include Apple's famous "Designed by Apple in California" text. The...

Top Stories: iOS 14 Feature Tour, 'iPhone 12 mini' Rumors, Apple Watch Band Controversy

Saturday September 26, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Things started to calm down a bit this week following last week's rush of media event, Apple Watch and iPad launches, and the release of iOS 14 and other operating updates. But that doesn't mean there wasn't still a lot of news, from digging deeper into iOS 14 to more iPhone 12 rumors to the uproar over trying to exchange band sizes on the new Apple Watch. On top of all of that, we heard...

Interest in iOS 14 Home Screen Ideas Helps Pinterest Break Daily Download Record

Wednesday September 23, 2020 4:37 am PDT by
Apple's introduction of widgets on the Home Screen in iOS 14 has driven a surge in interest among users looking to customize their iPhone, and that has reportedly had a knock-on effect for Pinterest, whose iOS app has seen record downloads as users flock to its content seeking design inspiration. As reported by TechCrunch, App Store intelligence firm Apptopia was first to note the impact of ...