Unboxing Apple products : Elegance in Design

4/14/2012 9:03:17 PM

Description: Unboxing Apple products

There is a reason unboxing Apple products feel so good

You know the feeling. You just purchased a new MacBook or iPad and can’t wait to go home so you can unbox its sleek packaging. Once you start taking off the front cover, it feels so natural and satisfying.

You don’t have to worry about extra wrapping, bubble wrap, or other material coming off the product’s packaging. It is truly designed to be opened with ease. If you’ve never opened an Apple product before, you may also glee with surprise as you notice how little material there is inside the box. The main product, necessary components, and possibly a small instruction pamphlet are the only things that may be waiting for you as you open the box.

Description: Unboxing Apple products

With that said, unpacking an Apple product is relatively simple and there is a reason for that. Apple actually invests a considerable amount of resources into making sure product packaging is as appealing and efficient as possible.

According to a Network World report, titled “Inside Apple’s Secret Packaging Room,” there is actually a room in Cupertino that is full of packaging experts. The information was revealed in Adam Lash insky’s book called “Inside Apple: How America’s Most Admired — and Secretive - Company Really Works.”

Elegance in Design

Description: Elegance in Design

The precise nature of Apple’s inner workings leaves no aspects of design untouched. The packaging is just the final aspect consumers deal with directly. However, Apple is a detail-oriented and perfectionist company with regards to virtually every aspect of its operations — not even a single pixel is spared from scrutiny.

According to Network World, Apple’s VP of iOS software, Scott Forstall, said, “I actually have a photographer’s loupe that I use to make sure every pixel is right. We will argue over literally a single pixel.”

With regards to product design and packaging, Apple actually has patents in place to keep rivals at bay from taking the company’s ideas. Even Apple’s products that don’t yield massive profits for Apple get this special packaging treatment. Every product is treated with care and foresight. There is no discrimination by Apple with regards to cutting packaging costs or making some products stand out and others not. The report described the process as one of elegance and thoughtfulness:

From the way Apple packages its Magic Mouse to the iPhone 45, anyone who has ever opened up an Apple product anytime in the last 15 years or so can attest that Apple’s packaging is elegant and reflects a thoughtfulness that most companies don’t bother to deal with.”

A Secret Packaging Room

The existence of a secret packaging room related to product packaging is really not surprising given the amount of care that goes into Apple’s production process. Lashingsky revealed that the packaging room is hidden away from the world at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters. It is only accessible to a few individuals with proper security clearance.

In “inside Apple,” Lashingsky told a story related to a packaging designer being holed up in a room for months on end by Apple doing nothing except opening boxes. This story really showcased and demonstrated the amount of conditioning and dedication required for the job.

Another example given in the book, and mentioned in the Network World report, related to the amount of prototypes designed before the right packaging was finally picked. A quote taken from the book and reported by Network World states:

“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.”

An Engineer Works In The Packaging Room

Gizmodo reported another detail related to the packaging selection process. According to Gizmodo, Apple doesn’t just have interns, product designers, or low-level employees working in this room in select numbers. The Cupertino tech giant has at least one engineer on the payroll working there. -

The idea of having a specified team of engineers or designers working with packaging is important for Apple for a couple of reasons. First, perception of quality can be felt the moment we as consumers touch a product or its outer appearance. This includes a box or packaging that comes with the product. Secondly, there is a bond between electronic companies and consumers. Packaging can be seen as the link between the consumers and the company’s products. It is not surprising such care is given by Apple to packaging when we analyze the importance of the opening process of any Apple product.

Be sure to check out “Inside Apple” by Adam Lashinsky to find out more about this packaging process or Apple’s operational methods in general. The book can be currently purchased on iBooks for $12.99.

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