|Re: No wonder HP can't "Dominate" the market|
Message #4 Posted by Tom (UK) on 26 Feb 2002, 1:01 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by Marx Pio
From my experience with the HP49G I can only say that the calculator is (was?) let down by the amount of support offered from HP.
Many people have complained about the keys / display cover / lack of IR etc. but all these would have been sort of acceptable IF the support from HP was there. You can only use the features if you know how to drive the thing. Many people went into the '49 after the '48 but there is a limited number of those - certainly not enough to justify the '49.
After buying mine, I struggled with the HP49G (my first with RPL). The user guide, quick guide and 'advanced' user guide were useless (yes USELESS as they contained many errors and spent most of the pages describing very simple operations). I wrote an email to HP complaining that the HP49G documentation was so poor and incomplete and that the '49 user guide promised that programming was covered in the up-coming 'advanced' user guide but was never in that document. The '49 promotional documentation also said that the '49 was programmable in RPL/Assembler but RPL is not covered in anything from HP for the '49. I also pointed out that I HAD (i.e. no option) to go out and buy the HP48G (to get the standard '48 manual) and HP48 advanced user guide to even begin to use 10% of the power of the '49. HP did reply (I'll try to dig it out if anyone is interested) but from memory they were not interested in supporting the '49 but did point me to the local distributor for the latest s/w.
I registered my HP49 with HP (by giving my serial number and email) but did I received information like when the operating system was updated?, documentation issued?, special offers? NO, nothing, ever.
In summary I wished I'd never bought the '49 and had bought the '48 in the first place (which is cheaper, better built and has far far better documentation). I can only assume someone at HP thought that once the '49 was sold they could forget about support. I think this is the reason people have not been buying HP's of late.
Many sales are made to the educational market, and kids tend to buy either what friends have or what the teacher is using. HP have never been in the educational market (I think they did have a half hearted try with the HP38 but TI blew them out of the water).
PS I have a brain and use it - thats why I went bought the older design HP48.