Apple's shrinking packaging

Have you seen Apple's packaging lately? It keeps getting smaller and smaller.
Written by Jason D. O'Grady, Contributor

Have you seen Apple's packaging lately? It keeps getting smaller and smaller.Take a look, for example, at the retail boxes for iLife (pictured at right.)

iLife '04 shipped in a traditional software "big box." Measuring 9.5 x 8 x 1.75-inches the '04 box weighed in at 133 cubic inches.

The iLife '05 retail box (pictured left) was Apple's first hint at their migration to smaller packaging. iLife '05 got a little shorter and almost half as thin (9 x 7.3 x 0.9 inches) cutting overall volume by 56 percent to 59.13 cu. in.

iLife '06 (second from right, above) changed everything again by switching to an entirely new, tiny package size measuring 5.25 x 5.25 x 1 inches. Cutting package volume by more than half (53 percent) to 27.56 cu. in.

Just when you thought it couldn't get any smaller, iLife '08 (far right, above) got even thinner to 5.25 x 5.25 x 0.75 inches to 20.67 cu. in.

The new, smaller packaging definitely falls in line with Apple's greener objectives by using less paper and ink which contributes less to landfills (you do recycle your old software boxes, don't you?). But don't give them too much credit just yet. Smaller, lighter packaging has less material and production costs (paper, ink and printing) and costs less to ship. Apple's definitely got a profit motive here, but I'm fine with that because less packaging is good for the environment and for Apple and it's shareholders.

I'm just wondering if iLife '09 will arrive in a package like this:

AppleFlix Envelope
Or, even better, as an optional (and discounted) Electronic Software Download (ESD). Heck I'm surprised that they still include a printed manual in Apple's software boxes.

What do you think of Apple's new, nano packaging? Is the printed user guide on life support?

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