How important is style to Mac owners?
One of the first things that struck me about the MacBook Pro (and my iPods for that matter) was the attention that Apple pays to even small stylistic details. With all the Apple products I've handled, the product that you've bought isn't inside the box, the packaging is part of the product and the overall experience that you've bought and paid for (and I have no doubts that you do actually pay extra for this). I've bought a number of notebooks in my time and every one of them has come in an uninspiring cardboard box, wrapped in a plastic bag and with all the accessories and manuals jammed around it.
The MacBook packaging is exquisiteThe MacBook packaging is exquisite. There's no other word for it. It's obviously that the packaging has not only been designed to protect the notebook but also to present the new owner with their new purchase in the best possible way. Apple obviously believes that how the product is presented is of the utmost importance and it doesn't want you having to rip the front off a cardboard box, generating ear-piercing squeals as you drag the notebook out of it's polystyrene cocoon while being buried under manuals and pieces of paper.
Now to me style isn't all that important. Give me function any day. I prefer packaging to be minimal since this makes it a lot easier to recycle. But there must be a reason why Apple chooses to sell their products in this way. The company must believe that how things look, even the packaging, is important to it's customers and that people are willing to pay for an experience that begins before the box is even opened. In other words, this must sell products.
So, how important is style to you? If you are a Mac owner, how much did style influence your purchasing decision? Do you think that other companies could follow in Apple's footsteps and improve sales by improving the customer experience?