Rumor: Unlikely 'iPhone 6s Plus' retail packaging revealed in photo

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 2015
A highly suspect photo out of East Asia on Thursday purportedly offers a first look at retail packaging for the next-generation "iPhone 6s Plus," though a closer inspection of its contents reveals a number of design choices inconsistent with Apple's usual aesthetic.




Posted to Chinese tech blog cnBeta, the low-quality image supposedly shows an iPhone 6s Plus package wrapper unfurled from its cardboard box. While the image itself does not appear to be digitally doctored, a number of curious design choices bring the label's authenticity into question.

Apple's iPhone retail packaging has remained relatively consistent since the original model debuted in 2007. The familiar rectangular box always includes a picture of the iPhone contained within, powered on to that year's iOS Springboard, or default home screen layout. Only two designs deviated from this rule: the plastic iPhone 5c package which showed off the device (with home screen decal) through a transparent cover, and last year's all-white boxes with embossed iPhone 6 illustration.

The iPhone 6 series also stripped out model designators like "4S," "5" and "5s" from packaging side panels, leaving only the "iPhone" moniker appended with an Apple logo. Today's "leak" not only reverts back to the old naming convention without Apple logo, but uses an extremely large font size, a peculiar choice considering "iPhone 6s Plus" is already a mouthful.

Finally, the use of a black Betta with mustard yellow fins, while striking, is not in line with Apple's usual feature-forward marketing materials. It should be noted that none of Apple's iOS 9 beta builds included the fish as a wallpaper option.

If the packaging turns out to be legitimate, which seems unlikely, it would be a major departure from an eight-year design evolution culminating in the austere and refined aesthetic introduced with iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

The report goes on to say Apple's next-generation smartphones will see battery capacity reductions from current models, perhaps resulting from the inclusion of Force Touch components. Specifically, the "iPhone 6s" will reportedly incorporate a 1,715mAh battery, down from 1,810mAh on the iPhone 6, while the "iPhone 6s Plus" will feature a 2,750mAh cell, down from 2,910mAh on the iPhone 6 Plus.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    wdowellwdowell Posts: 213member
    I would doubt it but did anybody believe the 6 box showing nothing but the white box top was going to happen?
  • Reply 2 of 20
    Looks very fishy to me!
  • Reply 3 of 20
    marvfoxmarvfox Posts: 2,275member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Fotoformat View Post



    Looks very fishy to me!



    Why?

  • Reply 4 of 20
    ecatsecats Posts: 272member

    Obviously fake: Both the use of a golden fish visual (a Chinese symbol for wealth), the favouring of a complex brand name and the oversized, brain-dead typography are signs of a middle-market Chinese designer and not JI's team which could fart out a nicer design than this.

  • Reply 5 of 20
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    ecats wrote: »
    Obviously fake: Both the use of a golden fish visual (a Chinese symbol for wealth), the favouring of a complex brand name and the oversized, brain-dead typography are signs of a middle-market Chinese designer and not JI's team which could fart out a nicer design than this.

    What's the complex brand name and where is the brain-dead typography? I must be missing something.
  • Reply 6 of 20
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Probably a ripoff, but there could be a chance that Apple may be customizing packaging for greater China-only market appeal.
  • Reply 7 of 20
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,395moderator

    Thinner paper would fit with Apple's push to create more sustainable packaging.  

     

    The embossing process from last year's packaging adds an additional production step beyond printing on the packaging and may require a heavier paper grade in order to hold up to handling and stacking.  And so it makes sense to abandon the embossing and return to a printed image.  

     

    The particular image choose might use fewer colors and less overall ink versus the iOS home screen image, both simplifying the printing process and marginally assisting in Apple's environmental initiatives.  

     

    Also, everyone is already familiar with the Home screen of an iPhone.  I can imagine Angela arguing that it adds nothing to the packaging and would prefer something more aesthetically interesting.  

     

    The large font on the package side might be a hint that the packaging is intended for display in some contexts, such as in authorized reseller locations where actual demo units are not available.  The larger and heavier font would be more easily read at a distance from a retail display shelf where the units are stacked horizontally.  

     

    So there's a case for every alteration we're seeing here.

  • Reply 8 of 20
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Thinner paper would fit with Apple's push to create more sustainable packaging.  

    The embossing process from last year's packaging adds an additional production step beyond printing on the packaging and may require a heavier paper grade in order to hold up to handling and stacking.  And so it makes sense to abandon the embossing and return to a printed image.  

    The particular image choose might use fewer colors and less overall ink versus the iOS home screen image, both simplifying the printing process and marginally assisting in Apple's environmental initiatives.  

    Also, everyone is already familiar with the Home screen of an iPhone.  I can imagine Angela arguing that it adds nothing to the packaging and would prefer something more aesthetically interesting.  

    The large font on the package side might be a hint that the packaging is intended for display in some contexts, such as in authorized reseller locations where actual demo units are not available.  The larger and heavier font would be more easily read at a distance from a retail display shelf where the units are stacked horizontally.  

    So there's a case for every alteration we're seeing here.

    Angela's not responsible for or packaging. I wonder how much input she has in packaging design?
  • Reply 9 of 20
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,754member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RadarTheKat View Post

     

    Thinner paper would fit with Apple's push to create more sustainable packaging.

     

    The embossing process from last year's packaging adds an additional production step beyond printing on the packaging and may require a heavier paper grade in order to hold up to handling and stacking.  And so it makes sense to abandon the embossing and return to a printed image.

     

    The particular image choose might use fewer colors and less overall ink versus the iOS home screen image, both simplifying the printing process and marginally assisting in Apple's environmental initiatives.

     

    Also, everyone is already familiar with the Home screen of an iPhone.  I can imagine Angela arguing that it adds nothing to the packaging and would prefer something more aesthetically interesting.

     

    The large font on the package side might be a hint that the packaging is intended for display in some contexts, such as in authorized reseller locations where actual demo units are not available.  The larger and heavier font would be more easily read at a distance from a retail display shelf where the units are stacked horizontally.

     

    So there's a case for every alteration we're seeing here.


    Wow. So many things wrong here. That image reeks of typical Chinese design. As a whole, they have no taste or design skill.

    Nothing simpler about the printing process. Once you choose to use multiple colors, you've already crossed the threshold in difficulty.

    Home screen changes with each iOS. Probably like to call that out.

    Where do you ever see iPhones for sale without at least a dummy unit on the shelf?

  • Reply 10 of 20
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by wdowell View Post

    I would doubt it but did anybody believe the 6 box showing nothing but the white box top was going to happen?



    No, and I’m upset about that. I prefer product images on the box, specifically straight-on images.

  • Reply 11 of 20
    wdowellwdowell Posts: 213member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     



    No, and I’m upset about that. I prefer product images on the box, specifically straight-on images.




    I still remain slightly convinced that Apple had originally planned some sort of image or creative feature there, but then there was some technical printing issue which meant the first batch wouldn't have been ready to go, so they  left it.  I know that may sound absurd, but it remains to this day very odd. if they above image is accurate i believe that even more. it's as if they've now masted whatever they were hoping to do.

  • Reply 12 of 20
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,395moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mike1 View Post

     

    Wow. So many things wrong here. That image reeks of typical Chinese design. As a whole, they have no taste or design skill.

    Nothing simpler about the printing process. Once you choose to use multiple colors, you've already crossed the threshold in difficulty.

    Home screen changes with each iOS. Probably like to call that out.

    Where do you ever see iPhones for sale without at least a dummy unit on the shelf?




    I stand by my comments, despite your esthetic sensibilities regarding Chinese design. 

     

    There are 2, 3, and 4 color printing processes for a reason.  From the looks of this image, a 2-color process might have been possible for the fish.  In fact, a 4-color process might be less desirable, as orange has trouble in a 4-color process.

     

    How much does the cover of a box act to educate the consumer on the changes from one release of an OS to another?  I would argue not at all.  That's not the purpose of the image.  It's iconic, at best, meant to convey the idea of the product more than the actual functional aspects or subtle changes from one edition to another.

     

    Where might there be iPhones for sale without a demo unit available?  Well, Apple has some 45,000 authorized reseller locations around the world.  There are likely plenty.  



    (edited to correct spelling errors)

  • Reply 13 of 20
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by wdowell View Post

    I still remain slightly convinced that Apple had originally planned some sort of image or creative feature there, but then there was some technical printing issue which meant the first batch wouldn't have been ready to go, so they  left it.  I know that may sound absurd, but it remains to this day very odd. if they above image is accurate i believe that even more. it's as if they've now masted whatever they were hoping to do.

     

    Interesting idea.

     

    See, if I worked high up at Apple, I would leak things all the time. But not things that are in any way important or relevant to the company, just things like this to answer peoples’ questions. :p

  • Reply 14 of 20

    if I worked high up at Apple, I would leak things all the time. But not things that are in any way important or relevant to the company, just things like this to answer peoples’ questions.  

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  • Reply 15 of 20
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,769member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    Angela's not responsible for or packaging. I wonder how much input she has in packaging design?



    I assume when the packaging get's presented for green-lighting at the top level meeting, everyone gets to give their input.  As head of retail, her thoughts on packaging design probably bears a little bit more weight than, say, Federighi's. 

  • Reply 16 of 20
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    wdowell wrote: »

    I still remain slightly convinced that Apple had originally planned some sort of image or creative feature there
    There's another rumor out there that this is hinting at Apple's new "motion" wallpapers, like the ?Watch has.

    That in turn is fueling rumors that the 6S will have OLED screen since Jony Ive said the motion effect wouldn't be possible without it. Not to mention calling the iPhone display (old fashioned).
  • Reply 17 of 20
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member

    Why would anyone doubt it without good reason?

     

    Thats probably exactly what the boxes looks like, if only in China.

  • Reply 18 of 20
    rogifan wrote: »
    Angela's not responsible for or packaging. I wonder how much input she has in packaging design?

    I'd be surprised if she didn't meet with Jony Ive (in addition to Tim) on a regular basis to throw around ideas.
  • Reply 19 of 20
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,418member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

    No, and I’m upset about that. I prefer product images on the box, specifically straight-on images.


    Maybe just smeared numbering, like on The White Album?

  • Reply 20 of 20
    Everyone is hedging their bets. :)
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