Apple Invents an Apple Store Retail Box with Retractable Handle & Specialty Features to Protect Products
In April 2016 Patently Apple covered a design patent from Apple relating to new retail bags for Apple Stores. In May 2017 we reported on an intelligent grocer bag with specialty tags. Apple's interest in packaging now extends to future Apple Store retail boxes. Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that relates to packaging with a retractable handle. In the erect position, the retractable handle may define a handgrip. The handgrip may help a user (e.g., consumer or retail employee) carry the packaging. Increased ease in carrying the packaging may reduce the chance of the packaging and/or product within the packaging becoming damaged (e.g., due to the packaging being dropped).
Apple notes that some embodiments include packaging for transporting and protecting consumer products. Consumer products may be, but are not limited to, electronic devices such as laptops, PCs, televisions, computer screens, phones, multi-media devices, tablets, gaming devices, keyboards, headsets, earphones, cameras, mice, trackpads, remotes, and watches. Consumer products may also include non-electronic device, such as but not limited to clothing, shoes, and kitchenware.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below shows a perspective view of packaging in a closed position and with a retractable handle in an erect position; FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of packaging in a closed position and with a retractable handle in a retracted position. In some embodiments, handgrip #212 may include one or more cushioning elements for increasing the comfort level of handgrip.
Apple further notes that internal compartment may prevent contamination (e.g., debris and/or liquid) from entering the product cavity. In some embodiments, internal compartment may provide shock resistance and cushioning for the packaging body and protect product(s) housed within packaging body. In some embodiments, a portion of the space within the internal cavity may be filled with a shock absorbing material, such as but not limited to foam. In some embodiments, the space within the internal cavity may be empty, to provide airspace cushioning.
Lastly, Apple notes that packaging for consumer products protects the products from damage and facilitates brand recognition. Effective packaging can be an important marketing tool used to attract and retain customers.
Apple's patent application 20170253367 was filed back in Q2 2016. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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