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CD jewel boxes most often break at the corners, on the protruding hinge ends. It's a very obvious weak spot in the box. Was anyone at Philips fired over this? How did such a poorly planned design make it into production?


For more information on the problem, see these links:

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As explained on Philips.com:

Because of its sensitive surface, it was necessary to package the CD in such a way that it would be fully protected against damage. The package also had to provide space for a booklet, and of course automatic assembly was another important requirement.

Product development teams at PolyGram in Germany and the Netherlands worked intensively to find a solution. Glass, wood, plastic and many other materials were tried, but none of them met all the demands. The designers themselves had decided that the ideal packaging should not be much thicker than the CD itself, and it also had to present the consumer with the image of a state-of-the-art product. Price was another important factor, because the packaging had to be affordable. [...]

Peter Doodson, working for the Philips Design in Eindhoven was therefore asked to come up with some new ideas. This led to a three-piece package made of plastic (polystyrene). Samples were made and everyone involved in the project reacted with enthusiasm. [...]

The moment of truth arrived when the first samples were taken out of the injection-molding machine. But the product proved to be virtually perfect, which gave rise to the name 'Jewel Case'!

  • Thanks for the link. According to this history, there is no issue! – Aaron Brick Aug 2 '16 at 22:17
  • @AaronBrick, this sounds like a good answer that should be accepted :-) – Bebs Jan 14 at 14:33
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    @Bebs it doesn't discuss the hinge problem. – Aaron Brick Jan 14 at 17:00
  • @AaronBrick the title is answered and stack questions are generally limited to one question per question. I’m not sure the quality problems in CD cases can be blamed on Philips. Over the years, I had some really solid feeling cases and some flimsy cases and they certainly were not the only manufacturer. And aside from that, every case I every broke was dropped, stepped on, or rolled over. – UnhandledExcepSean Apr 14 at 1:21

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