Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses Google Apple Hardware

Apple Gets the Importance of Packaging; Why Doesn't Google? 639

Posted by timothy
from the we-pursue-that-which-retreats-from-us dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Rebecca Greenfield writes that Google's Nexus tablet with its taped sides and fussy plastic takes effort to open, eliciting what some would call 'wrap rage,' the linguist-approved word for the anger associated with opening a factory sealed product, and as a montage of frustrated Google Nexus 7 owners struggling to open their new tablets' packaging proves there is at least one thing Apple gets that Google does not: boxes. In comparison to the minutes-long process that it takes to get to Google's well-reviewed tablet, opening an iPad takes a simple slide of a cover — a lid that 'comes off easily, but not too easily,' as Random Tech's Anthony Kay puts it. Apple boxes aren't beloved by accident. The company thinks about the way a box informs a product and takes boxing seriously for a reason. 'Not only does the box give people warm and fuzzy associations with the product from the get-go, but also, people form emotional attachments to the actual pieces of cardboard. Instead of tossing them like the trash that they are, people have been known to keep their iBoxes,' writes Greenfield. 'Instead of forgotten in a dump or recycling facility, the boxes sit on shelves serving as a constant reminder of the beauty within.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Apple Gets the Importance of Packaging; Why Doesn't Google?

Comments Filter:
  • Wrap rage...? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by serviscope_minor (664417) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:23AM (#40698183) Journal

    Well, of all the things that qualify as first world problems...

    And really? People keep i* packaging? That's kinda weird and squirrelly.

    Oh, also with respect to unwrapping, please PLEASE peel off those annoying bits of protective clear plastic. They look terrible after they'be been on a few months and have bubbled and got bits of dirt under them. And they make me twitch in an OCD kind of way.

    • Re:Wrap rage...? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by HarrySquatter (1698416) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:30AM (#40698299)

      People keep the packaging for returns and because selling your mint condition iDevice with mint condition packaging means you get higher resell value on eBay.

      • by k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:44AM (#40698527)

        selling your mint condition iDevice with mint condition packaging means you get higher resell value on eBay.

        Ah, the joy of reselling a product that's never been used.

        • Re:Wrap rage...? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by cpu6502 (1960974) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @11:04AM (#40698873)

          Ouch.
          I resell stuff on ebay, and yes it's been used, but you will get a lot more money if you can advertise it as "new" in appearance. I've received a lot of + feedbacks and 5 stars, because people said "It looks like you never even used it." I did but was just very careful not to scratch the DVD, unit, et cetera.

          Also saving the box means you don't have to pay UPS or the post office ~$20 to buy a new box to pack your computer, DVR, whatever.

          • by citizenr (871508) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @11:42AM (#40699481) Homepage

            Ouch.
            I resell stuff on ebay, and yes it's been used, but you will get a lot more money if you can advertise it as "new" in appearance. I've received a lot of + feedbacks and 5 stars, because people said "It looks like you never even used it." I did but was just very careful not to scratch the DVD, unit, et cetera.

            Also saving the box means you don't have to pay UPS or the post office ~$20 to buy a new box to pack your computer, DVR, whatever.

            Hey I know you. You are that guy with bubble wrapped couch and plastic bag over TV remote.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by j2.718ff (2441884)

        I save the packaging for any products I might eventually return/sell. This has nothing to do with Apple. (I also have enough space in the basement that a few extra boxes won't get in the way of anything else.)

      • Re:Wrap rage...? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Joce640k (829181) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @11:16AM (#40699047) Homepage

        People keep the packaging for returns and because selling your mint condition iDevice with mint condition packaging means you get higher resell value on eBay.

        Ah, the joys of owning an iDevice. You have to constantly plan ahead financially for when the next version comes out.

        • Re:Wrap rage...? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Karlt1 (231423) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @12:09PM (#40699903)

          "Ah, the joys of owning an iDevice. You have to constantly plan ahead financially for when the next version comes out."

          So in all of technology, only Apple users ever upgrade?

          • by ifiwereasculptor (1870574) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @12:51PM (#40700613)

            So in all of technology, only Apple users ever upgrade?

            Only Apple suckers ever need to! Go on, iSheeple, buy your fancy, expensive new iGadgets, while I have access to the same functionality with my non-Apple PC from the 90s. It has about as much processing power as an iPhone 4S, also runs apps, plays games and I can use its modem to make phone calls by attaching it to a landline. Some faggy Apple shills will claim it's not as portable, but it's mounted on a fucking wheelbarrel.

    • Re:Wrap rage...? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jeffmeden (135043) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:31AM (#40698305) Homepage Journal

      Well, of all the things that qualify as first world problems...

      And really? People keep i* packaging? That's kinda weird and squirrelly.

      Exactly... The story about "packaging fetishists" is just as much about doing something wrong as it is about doing it right. Why not just make packaging that is easy to open and recycle, and let the consumer enjoy just the product instead of worrying about the box? Or, at least, make the box in a form factor that is easy to actually reuse instead of inspiring Apple fans to collect shelves and shelves of meaningless cardboard. I mean, at least pewter figurines or tea sets or pictures of old people has some prolonged sentimental value. With an iPad, are you really going to give two shits about it after you get the next generation version?

      Thanks, Apple, for putting time into thinking about how to get me to hang on to MORE shit I don't need.

      • Re:Wrap rage...? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by xaxa (988988) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:34AM (#40698393)

        Why not just make packaging that is easy to open and recycle, and let the consumer enjoy just the product instead of worrying about the box?

        Indeed, I tend to be more impressed with the company if the product arrives in a plain cardboard box, printed with vegetable-based inks, and no plastic packaging waste.

        I can then more easily reuse it (e.g. to post something I've sold on eBay, or wrap a fragile gift) or recycle it.

        • by mwvdlee (775178)

          Indeed, I tend to be more impressed with the company if the product arrives in a plain cardboard box, printed with vegetable-based inks, and no plastic packaging waste.

          I can then more easily reuse it (e.g. to post something I've sold on eBay, or wrap a fragile gift) or recycle it.

          Never really thought about it that much but you are right. Whenever I recieve a clean box or envelope with removable/coverable branding, I tend to keep it around for when I need to send a package. Might be good marketing if those companies mentioned this explicitely somewhere in the instruction manual.

        • Re:Wrap rage...? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by TheLongshot (919014) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @11:56AM (#40699675)
          The referb Kindle I got from Amazon came in a package like this. A zip open cardboard box with a plastic insert to hold the Kindle, all of which was recyclable.
      • by mwvdlee (775178) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:48AM (#40698605) Homepage

        The point of owning an iDevice is to show it off. Nonchalantly displaying the box on a shelf fits into this lifestyle perfectly.

      • Re:Wrap rage...? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MisterSquid (231834) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:49AM (#40698615)

        The story about "packaging fetishists" is just as much about doing something wrong as it is about doing it right. Why not just make packaging that is easy to open and recycle, and let the consumer enjoy just the product instead of worrying about the box? Or, at least, make the box in a form factor that is easy to actually reuse instead of inspiring Apple fans to collect shelves and shelves of meaningless cardboard.

        Many people don't understand packaging is very important and your post, unfortunately, is no exception.

        In the case of tablets and phones, packaging is the first personal encounter with what is intended to be a personal device. Getting this step right is crucial to shaping how a consumer perceives the product and too many companies neglect this simple but ineluctable point.

        It's not fetishism to want a consumer's experience of "getting at the device" to be quick, obvious, and easy. Furthermore, packaging that is easily opened and which is not damaged upon opening makes that packaging reusable.

        Apple's packaging of phones and tables is exemplary in this regard. The only thing that must be permanently damaged in the unboxing process is the shrink wrap, and even that can be preserved so that it can be reused. This means that when I upgrade my tablet I can sell the old device on eBay in its original packaging and allow my buyers to have a very-close-to-new out-of-box experience. I've sold quite a few phones, tablets, and laptops on eBay and people really appreciate the out-of-box experience, so much so that I mention that the item has all the original packaging intact.

        Style, simplicity, and reusability are not shallow but deep. It's the failure to appreciate the work that goes into making something simple that is shallow.

        • by cpu6502 (1960974)

          I still have my Mac box..... it was big and bulky and hard to carry: filled with a lot of empty space. But yes it was beautifully designed.

          In contrast my PC came in a plain cardboard box, sealed with tape that I had to use my car key to cut. Not easy to open. But it also cost half as much. I'll take the 50% savings and forego the pretty.

        • Re:Wrap rage...? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Johann Lau (1040920) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @11:19AM (#40699123) Homepage Journal

          http://fadeyev.net/2012/06/19/moral-design/ [fadeyev.net]

          Life is the ultimate aim of moral design, which it must protect, advance, ennoble and enrich. Immoral design, which is also bad design, is the opposite. It takes life by stealing time; it impoverishes by pretending to be more than it is; it does not last; it deceives, harms, enrages and degrades. The difference between the two lies at the origin of the work, when the designer first establishes their true goals and decides whether it is to satisfy their destructively selfish aims, or it is to be something higher, something that respects and elevates peopleâ(TM)s lives, something that they are not ashamed to put out into this world because they know that their heart lies in the right place; and if they fail to achieve what they set out to do, it will be but an error of affection, not ill work laden with guilt.

          By that standard, Apple suddenly doesn't look sexy at all. Nor do other corps.

          out-of-box experience

          not shallow but deep

          `
          Bullshit. That's as shallow as you can get.

          It's the failure to appreciate the work that goes into making something simple that is shallow.

          Something can be a lot of work and still be shallow, nobody is claiming the don't waste a lot of time and money and resources on their packaging, so that's both a strawman and a false dichotomy.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by DNS-and-BIND (461968)
          Oh, fuck that noise. Apple makes luxury products, they can afford fancy packaging. Any product that sells on price gets whatever packaging the factory can make that won't damage the product during transit, and whatever is cheap. A lot of times that unfortunately means the clamshell packaging. I work with goddamn Chinese factories, I know this. Apparently you don't. "Out of the box experience" what the fuck?!? You exist at such a high, luxury level of consumerism that you have no idea why anyone would
    • Re:Wrap rage...? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TheCarp (96830) <[ten.tenaprac] [ta] [cjs]> on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:34AM (#40698387) Homepage

      Actually, this is nothing new, nor specific to apple. A lot of people keep the boxes that products come in, especially if the product has enough value to be worth repackaging in its box for resale or storage later.

      For example, I had some pots that came in boxes. I tossed the boxes, as I have a place to store pots and use them frequently.

      I have a rice cooker. Kept the box. Keep it in the box. On the rare occasion that I use it, it comes out of the box, and goes back in. If I get around to having a yard sale, I will put it out, in its box.

      Likewise, I have the boxes for xbox360 and my wife's PS3. Why? because they might need to be sent out for repair someday, or I might want to sell them.

      The only thing special here is that apple is actually still using boxes, whereas other products have moved to clamshells, which are more frustrating to open if you don't have a good pair of sciscors handy at the moment... and don't give you a package that you can easly repackage the product in.... which brings up another nice thing about boxes....

      when I open a product in a box, and its already broken, I have a convienet vessel in which to transmit the product back to the store from whence it came to exchange it.

      Nothing new, or particularly interesting here.

      • Re:Wrap rage...? (Score:5, Informative)

        by danomac (1032160) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @11:38AM (#40699417)

        I have the Nexus 7.

        First of all, the unboxing wasn't that bad. The box was taped, yes, but once I sliced it the box slid apart with no issues. The wrap around the Nexus 7 was not that hard to remove. The only way you can bugger that up is to not notice the directions. There's arrows, move this, then that, and it slides out. When I unpacked some iPads for work they were basically similar in their unpacking.

        However, the part that got me about the packing is the sleeve. The box itself was fine. The box slid into a sleeve that had the artwork.

        I was about ready to throw the goddamned thing against the wall. The sleeve was pressure fit so tightly that Hercu-Thumbs couldn't even slide it out. After fussing with it for a few minutes I went into a rage and tore that sonovabitch up. If I had to do it again I wouldn't even bother with sliding it off, I'd get a letter opener or something like it to take apart the sleeve at its seam.

        Whoever thought of that packing design should be dragged out to the street and SHOT.

        • by Rotag_FU (2039670)

          So I just received my Nexus 7 last night and am surprised by the reactions that I've seen. I watched the unboxing compilation while I was eagerly awaiting delivery and was expecting the worst. The only thing that I experienced as potentially problematic was the two tape tabs. They would not be easy to peel without damaging the box, so cutting really is your best option. However, everything else, including sliding the sleeve off the box, was very easy and simple. I honestly didn't even notice that there

    • by Hatta (162192)

      People keep all sorts of packaging. I collect vintage computers. A lot of them still come with their original boxes. Some people really like that, and it boosts the price people can get for the computer. Personally, I can't program or play games on a box, so I'm happier paying less for a computer.

      But sometimes I get a cheap computer that still has its box. What do you do with a box you dont' want? After all these years, it seems a shame to trash it. So I've been hanging on to them. I might one day wa

    • Re:Wrap rage...? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MightyYar (622222) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:45AM (#40698551)

      The Apple packaging is nice enough to warrant a spot in the basement. People seem to appreciate it when they get my hand-me-downs and it comes with all of the original packaging/disks/etc.

    • by Hentes (2461350) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:48AM (#40698599)

      But the main main reason many people buy an iPad is so they can make unwrapping videos for Youtube. The tablet is just a bonus.

    • by antdude (79039)

      I made a poll about this on pi day of 2012: http://aqfl.net/node/9736 [aqfl.net] with interesting results.

      I keep most of my boxes too. I know many people do.

  • Different Markets (Score:2, Informative)

    by Hnice (60994)

    Ummmmm, because Google's not a toy company?

  • what the? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:24AM (#40698197) Homepage Journal

    Ok.. I don't get it. I got my Nexus 7 preorder on Monday and did not have *one* problem with packaging. As a matter of fact I have liked the packaging of every Nexus product I have bought as well as even thought the graphic design was good. I had no problems breaking the seals and opening the box.

    I am much more concerned about the fact that the unit will not charge and the fact that so many people at places like at xda-developers [xda-developers.com] are seeing the same defect time after time and the fact that I am having such a hard time getting an RMA.

    • by alen (225700) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:31AM (#40698307)

      all you have to do is post a message on one of google's forums about your hardware issue and wait a few days for someone to respond

      • A few days? Sorry... that isn't good enough. Anyway, right now the problem is that people on 1st level phone support at Google are not authorized to do RMAs and it has to go to 2nd tier.

        Their phone support is jammed, and their 2nd tier must be doubly so.

    • The defect I was referring to is the side of the screen lifting and/or a gap. My problem with charging (the included charger and cable is good and works with my phone) seems to be your normal luck-of-the-draw factory line defect.

    • Re:what the? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by alen (225700) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:33AM (#40698355)

      if you have a hardware issue just take it back to the store and have them replace it. that's what i did with my iphone 3gs a few years back. took 20 minutes at the genius bar including the waiting

      oh wait......

      • by tepples (727027)

        took 20 minutes at the genius bar including the waiting

        Including the 90 mile drive to the closest Apple Retail Store and the 90 mile drive back?

      • by Shadow99_1 (86250)

        It's nice you live close to an apple store... My closest apple store is over 2 hours away. It may still be worth it to drive 2 hours both ways to get a problem fixed in a timely manner, but not usually...

    • by Daetrin (576516)
      It took me 5-10 seconds of trying to slide the outer cover off before i realized it really wanted to slide in the other direction, and then another 5-10 seconds to wedge the lid off the box (after cutting the tape of course.) Is it slightly harder to open than some packaging i've seen? Yes. Is it in any way comparable to clamshell packaging? Not even close. Is this whole thing being blown way out of proportion? Definitely
      • I have to admit, I was laughing so hard at the video that I was crying. I swear, that was me last night. "What the--!!? I don't see any tape, but I can't get the box out. Am I missing something? Crap!..."

        Still, now that I've got it out of the box, I'm gleeful. It's a nice tablet.

  • Huh? (Score:5, Informative)

    by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:24AM (#40698201) Homepage
    My Nexus 7 arrived on Tuesday, and I opened it just fine. The tape used to keep the box closed was a little interesting, looked almost like it had been melted on, but nothing anyone with a pair of scissors or box cutters should have trouble with.
    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Korin43 (881732) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:31AM (#40698327) Homepage

      Yeah this story confuses me.

      Step 1: Push box out of sleeve
      Step 2: Cut two pieces of tape
      Step 3: Open box
      Step 4: Profit

      There's not even a ??? step. Is cutting tape really that difficult?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anubis IV (1279820)

        Is cutting tape really that difficult?

        Is having to reboot your computer when something goes wrong really that difficult? Not really, but when you have to do that it worsens your experience with the product. Any packaging that requires the use of tools to open is not good, user-oriented packaging. You can make packaging tamper-evident without requiring the customer to locate sharp objects.

        There's a reason Amazon has been placing so much effort into making "hassle-free" packaging and coercing manufacturers to do the same (going so far as to send

        • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:57AM (#40698771)

          without requiring the customer to locate sharp objects.

          I have never met tape that requires anything sharper than a housekey to remove. If you can't locate your keys, you've got bigger issues than failure to open a toy.

      • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Funny)

        by Talennor (612270) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @11:09AM (#40698937) Journal

        Is cutting tape really that difficult?

        Well, I watched the video, and it's apparently quite difficult if you try to cut it with your shirt.

      • It wasn't that easy. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by KingSkippus (799657) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @11:52AM (#40699625) Homepage Journal

        Because it's not that simple. I can't explain it, you just have to experience it. You're sitting there thinking, "I don't see any tape or other connection between this box and the sleeve, but when I push here, the box won't slide out." I'm telling you, I laughed the whole way through that video because those people--that was me last night. Every ounce of common sense--and looking and testing--tells you that it shouldn't be that hard, yet in defiance of all logic, it was. I think Asus/Google invented some new force of nature.

        But yeah, there most definitely were two ??? steps: 1.5 and 2.5.

    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Funny)

      by miltonw (892065) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:45AM (#40698557)
      Alternate title for the video: "People who can't cut tape try to open a taped package."
  • Ouch (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bhagwad (1426855) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:24AM (#40698203) Homepage
    I think I'm gonna be sick.

    I mean I know people worship Apple and all. But...come on guys.
    • Re:Ouch (Score:4, Funny)

      by buback (144189) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @11:05AM (#40698885)

      Well I don't see what's so weird about displaying them on a bookshelf or table. Maybe with a nice tablecloth on top, and some candles and incense.

      It's also a good place for me to put my sacrifices and to focus my prayers

  • by Angst Badger (8636) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:25AM (#40698219)

    Seriously? There was nothing more important or interesting going on than some nebbish mumbling about the importance of packaging? Even for Apple fanboyism, this reaches new depths. "The boxes sit on shelves serving as a constant reminder of the beauty within." I wish there was a more appropriate and genteel response to that than, "Get a life!", but there you are.

    • by MightyYar (622222) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:48AM (#40698607)

      I agree that the gushing is... weird. But the Apple packaging is nice, and people do notice it when they purchase Apple products. It's all part of their branding, which is very well managed. Other companies with crappy or hard-to-open packaging risk their branding just a tiny bit.

      • Apple cares (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Quila (201335) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @11:42AM (#40699483)

        Google and others think the user experience of a product is confined only to the actual use of it. But that's only one part pf a user experience, and forgets walking into the store (or using the online store), buying, unboxing, first start and setup, support, and eventual recycling.

        Apple does everything in its power to make all aspects of the user experience perfect. Apple does unboxing tests for products, even did store mock-ups instead of just slapping up the usual crowded aisles. That's their brand strategy, and it's popular with consumers and profitable.

  • by dwater (72834) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:25AM (#40698223)

    My point being...perhaps the packaging doesn't have much difference to the success of the company as you think...

    • by chundo (587998)

      On the contrary - it could be argued that Apple's entire success as a company is due to their packaging on all levels - packaging features, packaging software, packaging hardware, packaging services, packaging their brand. Nokia's problem is that their good packaging tends to stop at the box.

      Apple packaged the original iPod by taking mature features that already existed in other music players in the marketplace, and wrapping them together in a more attractive product, with a slick design and lots of storage

  • A GoPro camera. Took me about 15 minutes to open it, I had to find a tutorial on YouTube to show me how to do it. I could have just slashed away with a knife or tore into it savagely, but I was trying to open it without wrecking anything and there was no remotely intuitive way to do it. A lot of careful cutting and tearing is required.

  • by ameen.ross (2498000) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:27AM (#40698245)

    Can the iPad/iPhone/iX be opened without surgically removing key components yet?

  • by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:29AM (#40698269) Journal
    Every time I get a new Apple product, it's a cool experience. The briefcase style MacBook Pro box is very sleek, and everything inside of it has it's own special compartment, it's own special wrapping, etc. Same thing with an iMac or an iPhone. It really makes you feel like you're getting a luxury item.
  • by mad flyer (589291) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:30AM (#40698281)

    "is at least one thing Apple gets that Google does not"

    Beeeyotch please...

  • I think the author is vastly overestimating the importance of the box. Sure, I'll grant you that the Apple boxes are nice, but the only people that get that attached to the box are people that are already attached to the device inside. And that's pretty common for iDevices.

    By the way, I didn't have any problems opening the Nexus 7 box. I saw the funny video before I got my device, so I was probably compensating. At least, I had a knife to cut the tape holding the box shut. After that it was smooth sail

  • I confess (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stuntpope (19736) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:30AM (#40698295)

    I've kept my Apple boxes (Mini, keyboard, MacBook, iPod Touch plastic case, iPad). I don't have them on display nor do I lovingly gaze upon them, they are in my garage. I recognize their superior yet simple functionality and keep them for the day I move and need to pack up the gear. I'd rather use the original packaging since it's obviously designed for its purpose, instead of grabbing some random shoe box. I can't say that for most other product packaging. I especially despise heat-sealed plastic packaging.

    • Re:I confess (Score:5, Informative)

      by milbournosphere (1273186) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:57AM (#40698761)
      I, too, keep the boxes from my iThings, but for another reason. I've found that resale goes WAY up when you sell an Apple product on CL with the original boxing material. I have no idea why, but people really do put a value on Apple's packaging. You are correct, from a design standpoint, they do a really good job; but that's where my love of iBoxes ends. It's a nice tradeoff for me, though, so I'm not really complaining about iBox fever.
  • The simplest answer is that Apple has their own retail space, which is likely the top location for buying their products. They get to dictate that experience and others selling their products must follow. Google has the Play store, but if they ever want the Nexus to be a success it must be displayed at big box retailers where potential buyers can try it out. As it happens, big box retailers like packaging that is difficult to open but attractive otherwise. It's a lousy theft deterrent, but they prefer it to

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:31AM (#40698313) Journal

    Given that Google has been treading the path of relative minimalism in the packaging for their assorted flagships, I see three basic possibilities:

    1. Cargo-cult: Google's cardboard box guru is smart enough to know that Apple makes good cardboard boxes, and has successfully emulated certain elements of them(lack of tacky carrier branding, minimalist design, though usually on a black field rather than a white one, and so forth); but has failed to understand the entire set of variables that go into making a good package, resulting in a close visual reproduction without the functional qualities.

    2. Somebody fucked up in production. The design that, indeed, worked perfectly in CAD and in low-volume mockups turned out to have somewhat sloppy tolerances that erred on the side of 'too tight' when X thousand of them showed up in the containers from the pacific rim, at which point it was a bit late to do anything about it. This happens regardless of 'understanding' of the importance of packaging. The acrylic crazing/cracking problems of the old G4 cube, for example, were not caused by the fact that somebody half-assed the aesthetics of the unit; but by inadequate production techniques.

    3.(Related to 2) At $200, Google isn't exactly making gigantic margins here, which curtails their ability to do costly things in order to achieve superior results. Preventing #2 type problems can, to a degree, be achieved by throwing more money, scrutiny, and willingness to send it back and have them do it right this time. If one lacks the luxury of money and time, though, one has to accept more limited control and the necessity of sometimes shipping 'good enough' in order to meet deadline. Since irksome packaging isn't a major issue by the standards of what can go wrong with complex electronics, it isn't an unlikely thing to suffer if corners need cutting...

  • by nashv (1479253) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:31AM (#40698325) Homepage

    Packaging can be weird to understand. Some of the simplest-looking boxes are often hard to manufacture and use to package a product on a assembly line.

    Remember that customer experience while unpacking is perhaps the most transient, short-lived event in the life of a product. Other factors such as safety while transport, shelf-appearance and the quality of the product itself is far far more important. And lets not get started about environmental costs of packaging.

    It is easy to get all of it if you have a profit margin like Apple does - about 50% [techspot.com]. The Nexus has a profit margin of barely 5-7% [cnet.com]. So yes, they may cut corners on the box.

    But something tells me people who want a Nexus get that the packaging is irrelevant enough as to be worthless within 2 minutes of the customer having finished it. Unboxing is where the function of packaging finishes.

  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:32AM (#40698329)

    Must be a great piece of hardware if the only thing she found to bitch about is the packaging.

  • I remember setting up an iPad for my sister, the box wasn't particularly stupid or anything but what I remember is that there was a big void between the packaging where the iPad sits and the back of the box. I had to check to see if anything was back there before throwing it out, but this plastic tray the iPad sits in was glued and snapped into it. I pried it off anyways, took a good bit of force. What was back there? Nothing. It was like a trap for hackers, like leaving a puzzle box with nothing inside to mock our curiosity.

  • by JohnnyMindcrime (2487092) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:36AM (#40698419)

    ...my Google Android phone gets the importance of standard connectors [ninemsn.com.au].

  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:37AM (#40698433)

    It's the nerd rage apocalypse post!

  • While I do not enjoy trying to get into the hardened, heat sealed packages that a lot of things come in these days, I do like them. The reason I like them is that they require physical destruction of the package to open. This makes it much harder for certain big box electronics stores to resell used/returned items as new.
  • Invasion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Clueless Nick (883532) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:55AM (#40698713) Journal

    Did Slashdot get invaded by Engadget? Are we already living in the era of idiocracy?

    I find it hard to understand how a difficult to open packaging could lead to comparisons between two major technology companies. Oh, by the way, Motorola sold their phones in smoothly sliding boxes way before the iPhone was launched, so it is not like it is yet another of Apple's 'innovations'.

    To tell you the truth, I find these huge number of insipid 'unboxing videos' and 'reviews' to be an insult to the intelligence of discerning viewers and readers who might be actually looking for useful information about a product.

  • It's Nintendo's. Simple, minimalistic, 100% recycled, and humble. No fancy plastic trays, metallic emblems or anything. Just a simple, small, eco-friendly box. Mind you I haven't bought anything from them since the original DS.

  • by caveat (26803) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:58AM (#40698793)

    John Siracusa wrote a full page [arstechnica.com] on the literal "out of box" experience with the G4 Cube, it seems it's still relevant today:

    Who cares what the packing materials are like? What does this have to do with the quality of the product? Is nice styrofoam supposed to make up for the huge price tag? But step back a minute and consider Apple's motivation here. Like other "boutique" brands (e.g. Bose or Bang & Olufsen), it's important for Apple to provide a uniformly high quality experience with its products. And yes, that certainly includes packaging. In fact, psychologically, packaging may be one of the most important first impressions. The customer needs to be reassured from the very start that their money was well spent. It's not so much that they'll be impressed by the packaging, it's just important to prevent the feeling of "cheapness" that might result if "standard" packaging materials and techniques are used. Welcome to the wonderful world of marketing.

    Love or hate Apple, but they think everything through.

  • THIS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nitehawk214 (222219) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @11:18AM (#40699085)

    This article is why I hate hipsters and people that moan about their first world problems.

  • by cpotoso (606303) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @11:48AM (#40699571) Journal
    You will need to open it exactly 1 time. I couldn't care less. /. is getting saturated with dumb dumb dumb articles.

You are in a maze of little twisting passages, all alike.

Working...