I've posted before on using secondary packaging can be a source of differentiation, with the example of Veuve Clicquot champagne. Well, here is another one on Apple.
I got my new macBook Air last week, and so far it has lived up to all expectations. This included the whole experience of opening the pack. It was more like opening up a package from Prada than a standard computer (yes, I know, sad Apple-geek).
There is the beautifully sleek black outer box cover, that slides off just so (I bet the fit here is engineered to the mm to slide off just right). See how minamlist the pack is? How many other brands do you know who are barve enough to strip the design down to the bare essentials like this? The macBook Air is then beautifully presented with a little tab you pull to lift it out. With the computer lifted out, the accessories and cable are revealed. But even these bits, which could be checked in as an after-thought, are presented beautifully.
So, if you need to have secondary packaging, as you do with a laptop computer, than why not make more of it as a branding tool?
The other way to go is of course to remove as much it as possible. And Apple have done this as well. The first iPod came in a big square box, whereas new ones come in tiny plastic cases. Less waste, and also more efficient to transport and easier to merchandise on shelf.