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Apple says AirPods Max's Smart Case is 'extremely storage efficient' in new interview

Airpods Max On End Hero
Airpods Max On End Hero (Image credit: Joseph Keller / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple's VP of industrial design Evans Hankey, VP of product marketing Bob Borchers, and designer Eugene Whang have been speaking about AirPods Max, including that case.

Apple's AirPods Max have received a ton of attention since they debuted last week and most of it has been positive. But there's one thing that everyone agrees on – the Smart Case that they come with is pretty bad. Everyone except Apple.

In an interview with Casa BRUTUS, Apple's VP of industrial design Evans Hankey, VP of product marketing Bob Borchers, and designer Eugene Whang spoke about the AirPods Max and that case, saying that it's all working as designed.

AirPods Max Smart Case

AirPods Max Smart Case (Image credit: Apple)

Translated from the original Japanese via Google Translate:

"Today, most headphones come with large, cumbersome cases, but we travel a lot, so we know how important it is to fit in a bag. So it's extremely storage efficient. I wanted to make a good case. Our case has a structure in which one sheet is cut out and fastened in several places so that it becomes three-dimensional. When the ear cup is rotated and inserted here, the headband is exposed. Although it is still in the state, it is judged that it is not necessary to cover it because it is made strong in the first place. Also, thanks to the exposed band, it is possible to have a function that you can easily grasp it with your hand and take it out of the bag. can we have"

One point many have made, including MKBHD, is that the one part of the AirPods Max design that isn't covered by the case is the headband – a headband made of fabric. The fact Apple sees that as a selling point is interesting, and it would definitely go against conventional wisdom.

The full interview is well worth a read if you're interested in learning the thought process that went into making AirPods Max a thing we can buy. Or try to buy, at least – stocks are so limited that you can expect to wait three months for delivery if you order online.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

2 Comments
  • When, not if, I pay $549 for headphones, I'd like them protected a bit better than that. Regardless if Apple says they don't need it. When they start coming back torn up, they are going to have a tough time saying normal wear and tear.
  • I'm pretty sure no one out there is arguing that the Smart Case isn't "storage efficient." The concern us that it isn't sufficient protection.