Apple has required that all its third-party accessory vendors redesign the packaging for all their products so that everything looks more like an Apple product, according to an internal company document leaked to Business Insider.
A report in July said the move was coming. All suppliers of bags, cases, and other knick-knacks in the accessories section of Apple stores will only be allowed to sell products if the boxes they come in feature a white background, with typefaces approved by Apple, and product shots that conform to Apple's preferred angles, the memo says. The policy affects Incase, Tech21, LifeProof, Sena, Logitech, and Mophie, the memo says. Apple even sent back to the companies boxes it didn't like, insisting that they use "better quality packaging material." Apple did not respond to a request for comment.
While a package redesign for iPhone case suppliers might not sound like much, the move is probably regarded as a huge victory inside Apple. The company is famously fussy and careful over the look and design of its products. Accessories from non-Apple suppliers often look chaotic and cheap by comparison. It is not easy to persuade companies to downgrade their own branding in favour of another's. The move contains some advantages for these firms, however: Their products will now look more like Apple products, which may make consumers feel more comfortable buying them.
Here is a summary of the text of the Apple memo describing the change. We have changed the wording of the memo slightly to protect our source, after we learned that Apple has begun sewing codes and grammar changes into its internal communications in order to identify the source of leaks to the media. Business Insider recently received internal information from Apple on difficulties the company has had launching Apple Watch and its discussions with wireless network providers over whether Apple might become its own mobile virtual network operator (MVNO).
As a result, the quotes accurately reflect the memo, which Business Insider has read, but do not quote it exactly:
Over the past six months Apple has worked closely with partners to redesign packaging. When customers come into stores, "we want them to have the same great experience."
The new designs bring an elevated look and feel to our third-party bags and cases while creating consistency across the brands to make our Accessory walls more visually appealing and easier to navigate. Old packages will be returned to the warehouse.
"Don't forget to share your favorite accessories with your customers in their new look."
Uniform white background
Consistent placement of logo and icons
Consistent product shot photo angles
Better quality packaging material.