|Re: HP 9G and HP 9S (My Rant from Comp48)|
Message #42 Posted by Ron Ross on 21 Nov 2002, 5:09 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Mark Anderson
Here is the sad reality for ALL of US. Hp’s marketing is now in charge. They have given us the Hp6s, Hp30s and the Hp39G/40G and Hp49G. Why aren’t these calculators more popular? The reason was obvious, CHEAP SPONGY RUBBER KEYS (aside from the Hp30s). Function wise, great calculators, but no RPN. And marketing is CLUELESS. What you are
hearing now is just blather to sooth you until Hp releases new Ti (or in this case CASIO and I would bet algebraic) clones. Marketing feels that their calculators aren’t selling BECAUSE OF RPN, not because it is not there but because their targeted audience is scared to buy Hp’s (because of RPN). They DON’T GET IT!!! And they probably never will. Hp will sink in the calculator business, and these great geniuses will migrate to other departments. The few who feel otherwise will not be able to stay in the calculator operations to argue otherwise. They will be considered as holding up development. DAL or VPAM is the wave of the future, not AOS and CERTAINLY NOT RPN.
We all would wish for a RPN selection feature, but as I have stated so many times, "Marketing has determined that >95% of the market doesn't even know what RPN is, so therefore don't bother to add the 0.50-1.00 option."
My take on the matter is, that the small 5% will buy and that will easily generate enough sales and perpetuate HP's name in the calc business. Considering how many calculator makers are out there (selling $10-20), a 5% market share of the low end market at a premium would be a nice slice of the pie. Hp could charge a premium (as if it doesn't or
Case in point, the only difference in cost between an Hp20s and an Hp32s was LCD display and Hp priced the 20s at $30 and the 32s at $60. Hp could still easily release an Hp20s with RPN (and no extra memory) and have it sell like hotcakes. Or re-release an Hp11c, (since they still make the Hp12c) and sell it for about $30 and sell like hotcakes
to the dedicated 5% market that uses (and abuses) calculators. These customers do come back after their high quality calculators fail. But these customers come back to an empty shelf or a $10 piece of crap with an Hp logo.
I feel that while the Hp Calculator group didn't haul in the $$$ that Carly wanted (but they were profitable, just not enuff $$$ for continued growth), there was more to Hp name recognition in technology that was given up when Hp abandoned ACO and its manufactoring. In fact, Hp has only tarnished its image with the release of the Hp6s. The Hp30s
is better made, but really no real improvement over Ti's or Casio's that are also available.
I believe when you buy an Hp, you should be getting THE HP UNfair advandage of owning an Hp. SCREW the RULES. That is what makes an Hp48 such a great calc. Hp put everything in that calc, including the kitchen sink (if you figure in the eq. lib with fluid flow). If the calculator ends up banned, so WHAT! Hp doesn't get sold en masse anyway. The Hp38 then 39/40G should have included units conversions
and also have been RPN selectable as well. I bet you would have seen better sales even though these calcs would have been banned from some exams. As it is, once in college, these calcs are not optimal for Chemistry or physics compared to an Hp48 or Ti-86 (or even a Ti-83+ if
you load a chemistry apps package).
As it stands now Ti has a great marketing plan, Sell the Ti-83 (actually, sell the Ti73, worthless as it is, to 6th graders) to the high school market, then sell the Ti-89, to the college market. Three calculator sales to the right crowd, and at least one to every student. I say snag that Ti-89 sale, and also crowd in on the Ti-83 market buy offering a superior calculator to the discerning customer
(and even though the math features are better on an Hp39/40, these features mean nothing to HS students, but unit conversions would have). The Hp39 won't take away a single Ti-89 sale, it doesn't have CAS and it doesn't have units conversions (AND I LIKE THE Ti-89 KEYBOARD BETTER, ARRGH, how it pains me to belittle Hp hardware). I
do like the color of the Hp39/40 series calculators better than anything I have ever seen, so it looks nice. But it is a pain to use (actually better than an Hp49G in algebraic mode), but that is because I do prefer RPN.
Just my ranting, as if anyone at Hp is ever going to listen to their once dedicated customer base.