It may be that the shift in eco-friendly materials resulted in less stout packaging, requiring more for the same strength/protection for the contents.
Given the drive towards ecology, I doubt Apple/Jobs said "Hey, now that we've reduced the packaging, let's make it BIGGER!"
And that wouldn't be the work of one of his minions. That would never get by Job's radar. The guy would need up packaging returns/refurbs at Dell. Or Gateway.