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Can Apple's MobileMe Packaging Get Even Smaller?

<p>Apple has taken steps over the years to reduce its packaging, but is the box and piece of paper that let people download some software still too much?</p>

Apple has made incremental improvements to its packaging over the years, like eliminating foam padding and shrinking boxes to fit laptops more snugly, but as with all packaging, there's always room for improvement.

The New York Times' Gadgetwise blog calls out the company's MobileMe packaging as one example of already-small packaging that could get even smaller.

Gadgetwise writes:

The software that keeps the contacts and calendars stored on your computers, iPad, and iPhone in sync comes in a cute cardboard box. Actually, the software doesn’t come in the box; you download that directly from the Apple Web site. What actually comes in the box is…virtually nothing.

Customers that buy the software from retailers get that empty box with an activation code on heavy paper, something Gadgetwise suggests could be replaced with a smaller sheet, or even distributed in an enveloped instead of a box.

The point is, as many companies also tout when they make minor packaging changes, every little bit helps.

Whether it's Bayer and Aleve getting rid of the cardboard boxes some pill bottles used to come in, Sprint replacing plastic bags and trays for cell phones with paper versions, or video game maker Ubisoft eliminating paper manuals from game cases, the culmination of all those small steps can have a big impact.

Take the case of Dell, which made numerous packaging changes like slicing a few millimeters from its Inspiron laptop boxes over the course of a year, allowing it to gut 8.7 million pounds of material from its packages since mid-2009.

MobileMe package - CC license by Flickr user ensign_at_e233net

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