Reviews

We got one of Apple’s patented round pizza boxes

The container designed exclusively for Apple employees
Reviews

We got one of Apple’s patented round pizza boxes

The container designed exclusively for Apple employees

This week, Wired dropped a glossy cover story on Apple’s massive new campus, which will be known as Apple Park.

The approximately 6,000-word story mentions a specially-designed pizza box that enables Apple employees to take a pizza from the company's posh food court, Caffè Macs, back to their desk area, or pod, without the pie getting soggy.

This pizza box generated intrigue among the press, which seized on the detail from the longer piece, writing that “Apple patented a pizza box, for pizzas” (The Verge), “Apple patents new pizza box to keep the pie from getting soggy” (The TODAY Show), and “Why Apple Patented a Pizza Box” (Inverse).

The focus on the pizza box, a single detail in a much, much longer story about Apple’ shiny new digs, provoked the story’s author, Steven Levy, to comment on the frivolity of the tech press.

The Cupertino company patented the box seven years ago and it’s already been in use at Apple offices.

The box is just coming into the public consciousness now, however, so The Outline obtained one — sent by a source directly from one of Apple’s California campuses — in order to conduct a hands-on review. Here are our first impressions.

The box is thin and round

The box is thin and round. This is because the pizzas that Apple provides are personal, round, thin-crust pizzas, approximately 14 inches in diameter, leaving an approximately .5-inch wide ring, or bezel, around the pizza as it lies within the box.

Apple's patented pizza box.

Apple's patented pizza box.

Most takeout pizza boxes are square, or if they are for individual slices, they are triangle-shaped. Like all Apple products, the proprietary standard of the box makes it incompatible with third-party products.

A pizza from Caffè Macs inside the patented pizza box.

A pizza from Caffè Macs inside the patented pizza box.

The box has eight ventilation holes, which the patent says work to separate moisture from the pizza so that the crust stays crisp and fresh on its trip from the cafeteria back to the employee’s desk. Apple’s campus is 850,000 square feet, so this trek could be substantial.

Apple's patented pizza box with non-standard pizza (Domino’s).

Apple's patented pizza box with non-standard pizza (Domino’s).

Finally, the pizza box’s locking mechanism keeps the lid tightly shut, preventing the pizza from falling out in transit.

As Apple watcher John Gruber wrote when Steve Jobs resigned in 2011, “The same thought, care, and painstaking attention to detail that Steve Jobs brought to questions like ‘How should a computer work?’, “How should a phone work?”, ‘How should we buy music and apps in the digital age?’ he also brought to the most important question: ‘How should a company that creates such things function?’”

Apple's patented pizza box.

Apple's patented pizza box.

In the Wired story about the new campus, CEO Tim Cook made it clear that “detail matters.”

“Could we have cut a corner here or there?” Cook asks rhetorically. “It wouldn’t have been Apple. And it wouldn’t have sent the message to everybody working here every day that detail matters, that care matters.” That was what Jobs wanted—what he always wanted... “I revere him,” Cook says.

With its new $5 billion corporate campus, which includes a 100,000-square-foot Fitness & Wellness Center and 1,000-seat theatre but no on-site daycare, Apple has shown again that first-world inconveniences are easily solved with beautiful design.

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