Wooden iPhone Panel Designed to Replace Glass Back Panel

iPhones are becoming increasingly popular with mobile device users, on that same note, the packaging and casing that surrounds the device is also becoming more popular. Monolith has created a small startup launch of prototypes and packaging for a wooden iPhone replacement panel. The new design is unique and cost effective while providing proof that good branding does not need to be expensive or overly elaborate.

The Monolith packaging features just a little emblem of a mountain. Designer John Tolman wanted to create a package that was attractive enough to warrant further use. A solid wooden panel replaces the glass back panel on the iPhone 4 and 4S. Underneath where the solid wood replacement panel sits, a screwdriver is provided in order to have quick and easy installation. Monolith’s Tolman further explains in an interview with “The Die Line” the inspirations and ideas behind the wooden creation for the modern technology.

“When we searched for a similar product for our own iPhones, we were disappointed in the high price of the existing offerings and decided it’d be easy enough to make our own. It didn’t take us long to decide to keep making them.

The goal of the packaging was something that was recyclable and economical on a small scale, yet attractive enough someone wouldn’t mind keeping around since it doubles as safe storage for the original iPhone glass back panel. We designed and constructed the packaging from laser cut corrugated cardboard with cutouts to accommodate the screwdriver provided for installation. A laser cut sleeve features a logo cutout to expose the wood grain of the back panel.”

What inspired your packaging concept?

John Tolman: In general, I was inspired by minimalist packaging that doesn’t have a lot of waste or less renewable materials (i.e. plastics). A good recent examples I came across is the packaging for the glif iPhone tripod mount by Studio Neat. I found a few companies that offered design/fabrication of laser cut packaging, but I really wanted to make our packaging in-house. I wanted a design that could be rapid prototyped and produced on a small scale without sacrificing design aesthetic or resorting to make-shift off the shelf packaging.  I think it can be intimidating sometimes for a small startup such as myself when you consider the possible large setup costs involved with more traditional custom packaging such as die-cut cartons and molded fiber. I think a lot of people including myself owe our ability to make such packaging in-house to newer and cheaper rapid prototyping technologies such as CNC laser engravers/cutters.

What is the price point of the product?

John Tolman: The price point is $55 for any of the wood species and iPhone 4 or 4S and we have plans to offer custom engraved designs as well as more exotic wood species in the next few months.

Do you have a background in product or package design or is this your first venture?

John Tolman: I don’t have any experience in packaging design although my background is in mechanical engineering and some of my education focused on industrial design. I’ve always had an interest in graphic and industrial design though, and nearly went into one of those fields.

I love the simplistic approach to branding, but does the packaging or product say “Monolith” anywhere?

John Tolman: The back side of the sleeve does have a laser cut/etched design with more detailed branding, although not on the prototypes (below). We are making a production run this weekend which will have those final touches.

Source: http://www.thedieline.com


A Glimpse at iPhone 4S Packaging

There’s no doubt that Apples new iPhone 4S is the biggest tech story with its release this week. In fact, Apple announced Monday that the new iPhone sold 1 million in pre-orders the first 24hrs it was available. That was a new record for the company beating their 600,000 pre-orders for the iPhone 4 in 2010.

As the world gets set for the release of iPhone 4S this Friday, we’re now getting a glimpse of the device including its packaging. The iPhone 4S packaging is very similar to the iPhone 4. Check out the photos below.

Apple also announced that they’ll be paying tribute to their recently deceased mastermind CEO, Steve Jobs, with a private event to be held on October 19.


Steve Jobs and Apple’s Innovative Packaging

With the passing of Steve Jobs this week, the world lost an incredible person. Sunrise Packaging would like to pay tribute to Steve Jobs by highlighting something that might go unnoticed in the next few weeks; Apple’s innovative packaging.

It’s no doubt that Steve Jobs was a genius and a visionary. His simple yet innovative designs for Apple products have always been cutting edge. But the sleek designs didn’t stop there. Apple certainly focused on details in the packaging of their products as well with Steve Jobs at the helm. Apple packaging is the icing on the cake of their one-of-a-kind consumer experience that no one in the industry can match.

RIP Steve Jobs- you truly will be missed.

Apple Has More Cash Than US Government

Is there ever bad news these days when it comes to Apple? They’ve been dominating the tech world since the turn of the century with the release of the iPod, iPhone, and now the popular iPad. Apple is on the top of the world.

Well more good news came across the wire in recent days. Strategy Analytics announced that Apple is now officially the world’s largest smart phone vendor holding 18% of the market share. Nokia moved back to #3 in the world with 15% while Samsung’s amazing 520% growth moves them up to second with 17% of the market.

What’s even more impressive than all of this is that Apple’s cash reserves are bigger than the US Governments balance. With a 75.9 billion dollar balance, Apple is the second largest company in the world behind Exxon Mobil.

The First USB Drive for iPad and iPhone

The most common problem associated with the iPad and the iPhone is that those devices lack a USB drive. Well iPad and iPhone users worry no more. There is finally a way to wirelessly save and share documents upon many other capabilities with the new AirStash, the first USB drive for iPad and iPhone. Wearable Inc. developed this USB drive and has filled the void of not being able to store and transfer data. This device has storage capacity of 32GB, which allows users to easily store and stream movies, photos, music, eBooks, and documents. AirStash also offers the ability of convenience with its easy to use capabilities and its easy to transport pocket size. This new device generates its own WPA2-secured 802.11g network, meaning it doesn’t need to piggyback on an existing Wi-Fi setup. The AirStash is expected to ship soon after its demonstration and orders are being taken online. The cost for this USB drive is $100 and a free firmware update is due in the first quarter of this year.

Learn more at: AirStash

Top “Loyalty Leader” Brands

Consumer Loyalty- the act of showing faith and allegiance to a product or service.

For the second year in a row, the iPhone topped the New York consultancy’s “Loyalty Leaders” list. The list compiles the top brands that consumers show loyalty to. It demonstrates that in a time where products are lacking in differentiation, brands need to establish an emotional connection to consumers to earn their faith and trust. No one does a better job at this than Apple thus, their momentum continues to intensify and their connection with the consumer market grows deeper.

Brand Keys conducted the interviews which provided the data for the list. In August, they polled 35,000 consumers about 501 brands in 71 categories. The age range of the consumers was 18-65 years old. 80% of the surveying was done over the phone while 15% were personal interviews and 5% were done online.

The iPhone was followed by Samsung phones with Apple computers and Blackberry scoring high. Other notable moves on the list included BP going from the leader of gasoline retailers to the bottom of the list for obvious reasons. Toyota dropped a little bit but it’s position remains #2 among autos. Beer brands dropped in the survey as vodka brands climbed. In fact, Three Olives vodka jumped 64 positions on the list landing in the top 25.

New additions to the list includes Bing, which was second among search engines to the respondents. Google is still ranked very high although, it dropped to #11 this year from #3 last year.

Progressive Insurance claimed the highest increase on the year with spokeswoman Flo into her second year of campaigning through advertising channels.

Nearly 75% of the Top 50 brands on the list came from three categories: cosmetics, technology, and retail. The emotional connection derived from cosmetic brands impacts self image, technology changes the way consumers live their lives, and retail improves quality of life.

Here’s a look at the Top 15 Loyalty Leaders:

1. Apple iPhone
2. Samsung phones
3. Walmart
4. Grey Goose
5. Apple
6. Hyundai
7. Amazon
8. J. Crew (catalog)
9. Blackberry
10. Avis
11. Google
12. Mary Kay
13. J. Crew (retail)
14. Dunkin’ Donuts coffee
15. Bing

Social Media Addiction

In a recent blog post, we shared some very interesting stats about the growth of social media use. Taking it a step further, we look at a study conducted by the University of Maryland’s International Center for Media & the Public Agenda. The study, “24 Hours: Unplugged”, took 200 students and stripped them from social media for 24 hours. That meant no iPhones, texting, laptops, twittering, Facebook, and email. Some of you are shaking right now…

By reading the blogs from some of the students, not only was being “unplugged” a challenge: it was traumatic! The study reported that a few descriptions from the student’s experience were documented over and over: “In withdrawl”, “Frantically craving”, “Very anxious”, “Extremely antsy”, “Miserable”, “Jittery”, “Crazy”.

One student’s post read: “I clearly am addicted and the dependency is sickening”. Another one said: “I noticed physically, that I began to fidget, as if I was addicted to my iPod and other media devices”.

American college students struggle to function without their media connection to the world. Some students even failed to go 24 hours. While trying to avoid new technology and blaring TVs, the students found themselves surrounded by them regardless. Many students noted how it was “boring” to walk around without an mp3 player providing a soundtrack for their ears. When cut off from social media, many students felt cut off from other humans like they were living in isolation. The research also found that the friendships and relationships of these 18-21 year olds were dependent on technology.

Many students had been appalled when the assignment was announced.  They were skeptical about the purpose and even fearful about going without media for such a “long” period of time.  Many students admitted that they had had doubts from the beginning about their ability to complete the assignment — and those students who didn’t manage to go the entire 24 hours noted that they weren’t surprised by their failure to do so.

So what does this study remind us about business? Marketers and advertisers looking to increase brand awareness and loyalty, should strongly consider social media use. Having a better understanding of each social media method and how consumers use each service will result in providing more appealing content that will engage one’s target market in an effective and ongoing manner.

More info:

Student’s blog: A Day Without Media

Barnes & Noble eBooks & eReaders

Barnes & Noble announced that the have opened the world’s largest eBookstore.  The eBookstore has over 700,000 titles and they anticipate having over 1,000,000 titles by 2010.

Electronic book readers do not need to purchase a separate device to read the ebooks, Barnes & Noble offers a free eReader download in teh eBookstore that is compatible with Blackberries, iPhones/iPods, and PCs/Macs.

eBooks are a great resource for travel since readers do not need to carry separate books.