Two Patents were fulfilled last week as the Mac Pro Tower and Beats Headphones Packaging Systems came to light
Over the years Patently Apple has covered many patents from Apple for things like store designs, fixtures, furniture and shelving, tables and flooring, Apple Store glass doors, and more. This week the U.S. Patent Office published two of Apple's patents covering their Mac Pro tower and Beats Headphones packaging systems.
Mac Pro Tower Packaging
Apple's states in their patent that product packaging is an integral part of a customer's experience. It introduces the customer to their product, and can affect the customer's feelings toward the product and the company that created it. Seamless and solid-feeling packaging without unnecessary gaps between edges and components--calling to mind a unitary construction with robust character--may be particularly desirable.
This may be particularly true in the case of heavy products, where environmentally friendly packaging may be challenging to implement due to heavy loads.
Indeed, during unboxing of a heavy or large product, positioning how high a consumer must lift the product to remove it from the packaging can affect a user's comfort and ease of unpacking their product.
Moreover, having a split box configuration allows for the consumer to lift the heavy or large product less than the complete height of the packaging to remove the product from the packaging.
This is in contrast to packaging that may have a single opening point at the top of the packaging. Positioning a split box configuration in between a lower base box and an upper lid is further advantageous relative to packaging that may rely on a pedestal type base, requiring a customer to lift a lid over the complete height of a large product to remove the product from the packaging. In cases of large and heavy products, packaging components generally become heavier such that a balance between the position of the opening between the lower base box and the upper lid relative to the height of the overall packaging (i.e., the position of the interface at which the lower base box and the upper lid meet) can assist a user's ability to lift the packaging when the product is still within the packaging.
In some cases, packaging may include handles to help a user carry the packaging. In order to be easily accessible to a user, the handles may be in the upper lid.
However, in order avoid simply lifting the upper lid off of the lower base box, the upper lid may be connected to the lower base box in such a way that the user's carrying force is transmitted across the interface between the upper lid and the lower base box. For example, the upper lid and lower base box may be connected to one another via one or more straps extending across the interface between the upper lid and the lower base box and directly fixed to each of the upper lid and the lower base box.
Below is a screenshot from iJustine's Mac Pro unboxing video showing the two-box construction, handles and strap presented later in the patent figures.
(Click on image to greatly enlarge)
The photo below was taken from the website Sound on Sound illustrating the two parts of the Mac Pro box separated.
Below is Apple's patent FIG. 7shows a detailed view of an exemplary handle compensation mechanism, that may be used in packaging.
Apple's patent FIG. 2A above shows packaging having in a closed configuration, having block supports but no handle compensation mechanism; FIG. 2B shows the packaging of FIG. 2A in an open configuration.
Apple notes that the suspension mechanism, handles, cushioning, and recycled material balance each of the aforementioned goals--including eco-friendliness, aesthetic design, structural robustness, cost, and ease of manufacturing.
The packaging components described in the patent filing may be composed of a recyclable material (e.g., a biodegradable or compostable material). The entire packaging is recyclable and cellulose-based. The packaging may simply be recycled without requiring material separation (e.g., in a single-stream recycling program).
For finer details, review Apple's patent application number 20210061514.
Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
Beats Headphones Packaging Patent
A second packaging patent application was published this week by USPTO. This time it was for the elaborate Apple-Beats headphone packing. You could review patent application 20210061513 titled "Folding Panel Packaging with Tab Locks" for more details.
Apple's patent FIG. 7 below shows an opened configuration of the packaging with the tab lock holding the smaller auxiliary packaging being further opened such that a product may be removed from the auxiliary packaging.