The irony of Apple packaging

The irony of Apple packaging

Summary: Readers of these page know that I love irony. Today's installment is from Apple's eco-blind fulfillment operation in Jonestown, PA who lovingly shipped my copy of iLife '09 which arrived today (thanks guys!


Readers of these page know that I love irony. Today's installment is from Apple's eco-blind fulfillment operation in Jonestown, PA who lovingly shipped my copy of iLife '09 which arrived today (thanks guys!).

The problem is with its external packaging (pictured).

After Apple made great strides to reduce the size of the retail software box, their software fulfillment house ships the tiny iLife '09 in a "shirt box" that could easily fit my MacBook Pro 15 and a pair of MacBook Airs!

C'mon Apple, let's tighten up the supply-side of the house. For starters Apple could easily lose of software box entirely. They did away with the printed user guide a long time ago, so why ship boxes filled with air? Is it a "perception of value" thing? Fooey.

Instead, Apple needs to ditch the software box and replace it with a simple, recyclable envelope. This would save the company money on printing, paper and shipping. At the same time Apple could leave room on one side for the return address and a mailing label avoiding the need for an extra shipping box.

Or even better, distribute the software distributed via BitTorrent and as an incentive, pass the savings along to the consumer (say $10 off) and users download it a couple days before it hits retail shelves.

Aside: That was probably the last picture that I'll be uploading to Aperture for a while.

Topics: Apple, CXO, Software, IT Employment

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  • Where is NonZealot?

    I can't wait to hear what you have to say about this article.

    Guess my post on "Thoughts on the G1 Keyboard" knocked some sense
    into you.

    However, I will be the first to say, this packaging is quite ironic. And
    perhaps this box is something from an older inventory Apple is getting
    rid of. But, I'll like to hear NonZealot's opinion.
  • What's the big deal?

    Odd that this would warrant a whole blog posting. You Apple people sure are a funny lot! :)
    • That's it? - Glad I waited.... (NT)

  • Maybe make a step yourself.

    The "shirt box" is as much your own fault as Apple's. When shipping to local retailers, Apple ships their ultra-small packaging crammed into a large cardboard box - comparatively much easier on the environment.

    Support a local retailer - don't buy this stuff online if you're worried about the environment.
  • Ok, we get it, you hate Aperture

    Get over it already.
  • For crying out loud

    trees are a renewable resource.
    • Not when they are being ....

      ... cut down at a faster pace then they are being planted.
      • Self-defeating?

        Hmm, so I have a business in which I grow, cut-down and sell trees. And my business plan calls for cutting down trees faster than I can replenish them? Is that auto-retirement? Sounds like a Polish joke (which I can tell cuz I'm Polish ..hah!)

        Sounds like a conspiracy theory from the tree-huggers.

        If you believe in a god, you'd accept the fact trees were put here for our use. (as are animals and other resources)

        That DOESN'T mean we should be stupid and send a one pound package in a ten pound box....
        • Isn't that how the Oil Industry works? NT

        • Trees get cut down for lots of reasons.

          Some of the wood is used and some isn't. This would not be the first time short term greed ruined an industry. P.S. I am not much of a tree hugger.
        • deforestation and wasted resources

          Unless you haven't noticed it takes a few minutes to cut down a tree it
          takes years for one planted to grow large enough to even be used for
          paper pulp. Also businesses very often choose immediate profit over
          long term sustainability that is nothing new.

          The paper and lumber industry have been involved in forrest
          management for many years but satellite imaging still shows that in
          spite of this tree canopy coverage is still decreasing at a alarming rate.

          It is not just the trees we cut for paper or lumber but those we cut
          down to plant lawns build new homes malls and other buildings as
          well as those cleared in developing countries for agriculture and the
          expanding urban landscape. The problem is Us as the human
          population grows we need more space and we tend to clear the land
          of trees in order to get that space. Over time it can grow back but
          history shows it almost never returns to it's pre-logged state.

          A example of this is the deforestation of early american colonials
          almost all of the native pine forests of New England were completely
          cleared between the late 18th century and early 19th century and that
          was done without chainsaws or huge tree harvesters. Next time you
          look out at the autumn leaves remember most of those hardwood
          trees were once open land cleared for farming, lumber and as fuel.
          (that is why you find stone walls running trough the middle of a

          Trees quickly do grow back but it takes hundreds of years for a forest
          to return to it's original ecosystem if it does at all often the species of
          trees change and managed forest with fast growing trees are re-cut
          long before a mature forest has a chance to grow. So yes trees are
          renewable but forests almost never return to their pre logged state.
          And as long as the human population grows we will continue to need
          more and more space for agriculture and the increasing urban
          landscape. So why increase that trend just to make paper packaging
          we could do without. Trees are a renewable resource but a valuable
          one that should not be wasted.
          Michael Fournier
      • Well technically they are still renewable regardless

        the pace of cut down to replanting. All we had to do to correct the
        problem you pointed out is to replant more. Still it the tree is renewable.

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
    • Only paper?

      I'm sure there's more than just paper going into the packaging.
      • Perhaps but its the box that brought about the blog

        Its basically the whole point of said. Box too big for the purpose it was
        serving and I agree. Perhaps it was a time/supply issue? Maybe they just
        had that sized box available at the time that was sent out? I certainly
        hope so. Maybe that box was ordered for a product no longer being sold
        and in order to avoid waist it is being used to get it out of stock? I just
        don't know.

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
        • I meant the box.

          I understand it's the box that brought about the blog post - my point is that the box itself is made of more than just paper - bleach, ink, petroleum (both in the coating and probably in the energy to manufacture the box) are all wasted just on the box itself.
          • Don't focus on the tree's there's entire forests that

            need saving. Not sure plain cardboard needs bleaching but hey it just
            might. Petrol used in production? Well then the same can be said for
            recycling can it not? Lets focus on the big stuff first and worry about the
            little things as the big things fall. Take our nation wide power grid. I've
            learnt thanks to commercials of late that we loose full HALF the power we
            produce because of our outdated grid!?! Now why that is not job number
            one I just don't know and I think it should be. Our grid is a joke frankly
            as the east coast black out happily proved a few years back. Its more
            than time to upgrade and the faster the better.

            Pagan jim
            James Quinn
  • Dell is funnier...

    Dell is funnier. :P
    • Blister packs

      I'd much rather see energy spent on defeating those dreaded blister packs, the ones that no one can open without a Bowie knife or "Shark blister pack cutter".

      It's funny to see headsets for sale in the airport concourses where no one has a knife to open the package LOL
  • At least it is recyclable

    if not from recycled paper. But NZ is right, what's the big
    deal that they need to write a whole friggin article about it?
    Must be a slow "lets take a swipe a Apple" day.
    • Snow day...:P

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn