Check any iPhone or Apple blog this morning, and you’ll spot references made to the latest Cupertino centred work of literature. Inside AppleÂ has been released to the press, and offers a great deal of insight in to how one of the world’s most secretive companies operates. According to one excerpt, designers would often spend days or even weeks perfecting the packaging for each device. Anyone who has opened any box containing an iGadget will know how much that’s appreciated.
“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.”
There are so many reasons why I think this is fantastic. Here’s the deal clincher for me: for me to invest money and time buying and using a company’s products, I need to know that the manufacturer cares about what I’m buying as much as I do. Steve Jobs had an insane sense of perfectionism that outreaches anything that any other tech CEO could have dreamed of developing. From the yellow tint in Google’s iOS app logo, to the perfect rounded corners on the Macintosh’ graphical UI rectangles, absolutely everything had to be perfect. The very fact that a designer cares intensely about a small transparent tab that will face the inevitable fate of being peeled off and thrown away, shows me that I am right to trust the brand.
I’ll take you back to 2007 – the year I bought my first Apple device: an iPod Classic. It was Christmas, and I knew what I was getting already. (A completely un-subtle email to my wife with exact links and demands to my products took care of that.) I unwrapped the small box and to my delight was greeted by a sleek, black, minimalist package. The top lid slid off perfectly. It wasn’t loose, or too tight. Perfect, Goldilocks standard friction between lid and supporting cardboard. The iPod was nestled perfectly in a small plastic cradle, underneath were the precision wrapped cable and headphones. Opening the product was as much a joy as using it. I knew then that Apple cared about every tiny detail, even the ones we don’t think about when we go to purchase a gadget.
The same style packaging adorned the iPhone, Mac, and iPad that I subsequently purchased. It’s an art that Cupertino has perfected, and it’s one which all other companies copy now. Don’t believe me? Check out phone boxes from before the iPhone and after and compare. They’ve gone from being giant, untidy egg-boxes to sleek, minimalist and sexy. (I know, it’s just a box.)
There is an argument that all this occurred in the modern warfare against global warming, and CO2 emissions. Each company aspired to create smaller packages to take up less room on shipments, and ultimately save fuel and money on shipping. The fact is though, that Apple has been employing this type of packaging for years. Even the original iPod had simple square packaging, and that was launched 11 years ago! And don’t be fooled in to thinking its all about being “green”. It’s about making the product appear cool/sexy/awesome.
So, I’ve just written an article about boxes, but that’s because I really believe it matters. If it didn’t, we’d happily pick up any device packaged in a brown paper bag with wires/headsets/accessories all jumbled up inside with no consideration for outward appearances. The fact is that we judge books by their covers, whether we’re taught to or not, and the same applies to technology. Our sense of what a quality product is begins before even picking it up. If it didn’t, why would so many of us sit through unboxing videos? We all know what’s inside it – phone/cables/manuals. We like to see how things are placed, and presented.
What do you think? Could you care less what an iPhone was packaged in? Comment below, or tweet: @TiP_Cam
News and Quote Via: MacRumors