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Things I just don’t understand: unboxing

Unboxing, for those of you who don’t spend all day on gadget blogs, is the practice of taking a thing out of a box, taking photos of the whole process and posting them as a news story. It’s very popular and to me, completely incomprehensible.

Fast forward a few months.

Apple’s latest iPhone is not just out: it’s in your hand.

You take it home, carefully open the packaging and there it is, glistening in all its gadgety glory.

What now? Do you (a) start playing with it immediately? Or (b) drop your trousers and rub yourself against the cardboard box for a few hours?

8 replies on “Things I just don’t understand: unboxing”

Apple started it. When every other PC manufacturer was putting things in boxes based on how much you could get in how small a box — i.e. economic reasons — Apple were doing it based on how good it would look and feel when you opened it. I have to admit that I love getting a new Apple thing, for precisely this reason.

The unboxing fetishists have made two mistakes. Firstly, almost every manufacturer in the world still packs things the dull normal way, and it’s not interesting. Secondly, even when the box-opening experience is quite lovely, a vital part of that experience is that the item in question is yours. It can be quite exciting opening your expensive shiny new purchase. Watching someone else who you don’t even know do it is not.

>a vital part of that experience

I too love getting apple stuff for this reason, but I think another vital part of the experience is eactly that – the experience – the tactile, sensory part of things is just as important as the visual bit. How often do people talk about “new stuff smell” for example. That’s something else that the fetishists don’t seem to get.

If it’s a sexy new motherboard then I want lots of pics. I want to see what it’s got and how the layout is better or worse than others. But an iPhone? Zzzzz…

>If it’s a sexy new motherboard then I want lots of pics.

But it’s the motherboard you want pics of. Most of the pictures are of the BOX…

(I must admit I’ve found a couple of such web sites useful on occasion when i wanted to find out exactly connectors & sockets some piece of kit had and the sites did have good pictures of the front/back/sides of the item once it was out of the box. But I still had to ignore numerous pictures of actual cardboard to get there…)

I’m just disturbed that anyone is describing a motherboard as “sexy”.

>Wasn’t “Sexy Motherboard” the title of a Prince song in the early 90’s?

If only… ;)

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