The bell curve is a graph that shows distribution with a result that looks a lot like — you guessed it — a bell.
I think it was in WW2 when the US government asked for helmets for its new soldiers. A study was done of hat sizes; thousands of heads were measured and the result was the famous bell curve. It showed that the vast majority of Americans had heads of a fairly standard size (the meaty part of a bell in profile), while about five percent (the lip of the rim on the left) had unusually small heads, and about five percent (the lip of the rim on the right) had unusually big heads.
It turns out that this pattern of distribution turns up everywhere — about five percent of movies are remarkably bad and five percent are remarkably good; about five percent of employees are inept and five percent are exceptional…
So, getting back to Apple.
Their hold of the personal computer market world-wide is around five percent, and their pricing, build and packaging are at the high end. If the distribution of the makeup of computer buyers results in a bell curve as well, then Apple probably owns that top five percent.
In other words, they aren’t struggling against Dell and HP — they actually totally dominate their target audience.
Looks like it worked out pretty well for them.
This may sound corny, but I really do get just as much pleasure looking at my Mac as I do using it. I can understand now why people would pay a lot of money to own a piece of art. This I my idea of art.
It’s not the newest iMac, in fact it is the first of the aluminum models, but when I first saw one I thought the design was truly perfect. I still do.
In another category, I’d always appreciated the Hasselblad medium format film camera; this is going back to the ’60s. Only recently did I have the chance to actually hold one in my hands and when I did I found that it was exactly as gorgeous as I expected it to be. Great to behold, handle, and to use.
Now, suddenly, I understand what is meant by Design.
And, what is meant by Timeless Design.
Here’s some wild and crazy speculation on the possible new iMac, due mid-2013.
The glass and the display will be all that you see from the front. There will be no lower band of aluminum.
The display will be sharp enough to be touted as retina, in that fonts will look gorgeous, but it won’t be as high res as the MacBook because you’re sitting further away. The guts will be entirely solid state apart from the fans.
If you absolutely require an optical drive there’s an external one available.
If you require a bigger drive for storage there’s the all-new Mac Pro as an alternative.
What you end up with is essentially a Thunderbolt Display with a MacBook Pro inside it; very easy to manufacture because of the small number of parts and the exotic parts brought down in price through mass production.
There will be grizzles about the lack of upgradability but it’ll be an ideal machine for the other ninety percent.