Apple Has An Entire Room Dedicated To Testing Product Packaging



We know Apple puts a lot of effort into its product packaging to ensure it’s almost as beautiful as the product within, but you may be surprised to hear that an entire room within the Cupertino company’s headquarters is dedicated to testing different variants of product packaging.

The story comes from an advance copy of Adam Lashinsky’s Inside Apple book, provided to NetworkWorld, which provides us with a fascinating look into what goes on within Apple’s headquarters. It’s no surprise that the company puts a tremendous amount of effort into its product packaging, so much so that it has an entire packaging room in which it can sweat over every little detail.

Lashinsky recounts a time when the packaging room was filled with hundreds of iPod box prototypes so that the company could determine which box was best suited to its product, and which would be best suited to the users opening them up.

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 notes that Apple’s approach to product packaging has also been picked up by its rivals. For example, Samsung’s product packaging for its Galaxy Tab tablet is almost identical to that of the iPad.

Walter Isaacson, the author behind Steve Jobs’s authorized biography, revealed that Steve and Jonathan Ive put a lot of effort into product packaging in a bid to create a perfect “theatre” for its products:

“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.”

So next time you purchase a MacBook, iPhone, or iPad, just think about how much effort went into its packaging before you tear it off and throw it straight into the trash.

[via MacRumors]

  • Gabriel Yagoub

    Wow, an entire room!! Thats amazing!! Unheard of!! Thats what makes Apple the amazing company it is, they work in rooms while all other companys work in hallways…

  • Al

    “Samsung’s product packaging for its Galaxy Tab tablet is almost identical to that of the iPad”

    Surely it must be a fortunate coincidence. lol

  • KillianBell

    Wow. What a great comment. The article doesn’t suggest other companies work in hallways.

  • KillianBell

    Haha. Yeah, it must have been. Apparently no one at Samsung has ever seen an Apple device.

  • Guest

    All I want is Galaxy Note from Samsung :)

  • timoftelaur

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  • joe the mac

    It took Apple 5 years to design the room in which the packaging was to be tested, just to get those little ‘packaging room’ nuances just right.

  • ddevito

    These site’s authors just can’t seem to go one whole day without obsessing over Samsung.

    Seriously, it’s becoming a bit obsessive now. Apple packing is nice and all but seriously who cares?!

  • Robert

    While imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, I think Samsung’s ripping off almost every aspect of how Apple does things needs to stop.  It’s like what Steve Jobs said of Bill Gates — the guy has never invented anything; he just rips off other peoples’ work.  Samsung is doing the same thing.  I’ve stopped buying anything made by Samsung as a result, and I really want to get rid of my Samsung TV now too.

  • imajoebob

    “A” room?  Considering the value Apple places on the details, one room seems like short shrift.  Decades ago I worked for a supermarket that bought an entire building to prototype and test layouts, displays, and workflows.  You’d think Apple would have an entire lab of clustered rooms.

  • Rowanova

    Many, many companies all around the world do their own versions of packaging testing and design. This has been going on for as long as products have been made that need packaging.

    So what happens to companies companies who do not do this? They hire other companies whose sole purpose is to design packaging for any type of product that, can be made by any company at any location in the world, to be shipped and/or displayed any where in the world.

  • HerbalEd

    While this is interesting, it’s definitely not a surprise. Of course Apple would do this ….. it’s Apple.