Message #9 Posted by Paul Brogger on 6 Jan 2003, 10:39 a.m.,
in response to message #8 by Michel Beaulieu
Imagine how things might have developed had H-P introduced a parallel line of simple, low-cost, minimal-features RPN calculators for entry-level users (read: "students"). H-P could have retained the high-cost, upper-end programmable and HP-IL model lines, while simultaneously offering to even the budget-obsessed the legitimate option of using RPN rather than Algebraic.
If TI could make scientifics for $30.00, H-P could have as well. Teachers could even have recommended an H-P model for their classes! H-P might have branded them differently, or qualified the series' name somehow, to protect the image of the upscale models.
Once, say, half of the emerging user market was exposed to RPN and could appreciate its advantages, the trade-up path to H-P's more expensive models would have been taken at least as often as that across to less-expensive Algebraics.
By refusing to compete on price in the entry-level market segment, H-P sowed the seeds of destruction for its calculator product line, and for RPN along with it. Which, by the way, makes their current strategy look all the more brain-dead: a Hewlett-come-lately entry into the no-margin end of the market, with essentially generic products. Incredibly, these models lack the only product differentiation which might be offered by H-P via re-branded hardware -- RPN!
I think I'm quoting another MoHPC Forum contributor when I repeat: It's no longer infuriating -- just bloody depressing . . .