|Re: The market was lost to HP in 1978|
Message #14 Posted by Steve on 10 Aug 2000, 8:08 p.m.,
in response to message #13 by Randy Smith
I can't vouch for other countries, but in my part of Australia the chance of HP getting into the market for calculators in schools effectively died in 1978.
A few years prior to that calculators of any sort were banned.
For a couple of years the Education Department had a list of calculators (Casio, TI, and others) that were permitted. They found this a difficult situation as all had slightly different functionality, and this caused problems in teaching.
In 1978 (possibly a year earlier) the TI25 was settled on. This was sold through schools. Schools did not sell anything else. It was a small LCD calculator with a few scientific functions and some stats capability. It sold for about $AUS25.
A few years later I bought an HP41CV for $320
There is a wide range of difference in price. OK, the school students didn't need a 41C, but they were BANNED from anything programmable, and that was the way HP were heading with ALL of their calculators at that time.
TI had the right calculator for the market at the right price, and stole the whole market.
Add to this that some of the students buying these calculators would have had extreme difficulty with RPN (some had difficulty counting on thir fingers) and you see why RPN was discouraged.
TI has just kept the ball rolling with the calculator that schools demand and there is no reason for them to swap to another manufacturer.
TI has so much market share that it can afford to be very aggressive in term of pricing and outlets (Our local supermarket sells TI8x calculators!!!!!).
I can't see how the market can be captured again by HP.
HP's original market came from purchasers at the high end. These days they all have their old TI's and they know how to use them. If they ever get near to coming to the limits of their TI they simply buy the same model as their teenage child and get their son/daughter to teach them how to use the additional feaures.
(and if you don't believe that, then how many of us are still using our old HP41's, HP42's, etc that are way behind the current crop of TI's in terms of speed, memory, and built in capabilities). Answer: LOTS
My son has to buy a TI83 for school. I half considered offering him my HP48, but it would be worse than useless. The teachers, the books, the questions, are ALL geared toward the TI range of calculators. I'm going to get him to teach ME how to use his calculator, and who knows, I might even buy one (gasp)