|HP-10C/11C/15C relative memory sizes|
Message #3 Posted by Valentin Albillo on 27 June 2003, 7:11 a.m.,
in response to message #2 by Patrick
"The 15C, introduced two months earlier, cost $135 compared to the 10C's $80. Not sure what the 11C was
priced at then (originally $135 but must have been reduced when the 15C was introduced). Probably only about $30 to go
from 10C to 11C. Eventually, the little guy lost out to the 11C and was discontinued at the tender age of only 18 months."
It's understandable at the time. Now, we look at the HP-10C with collector's eyes, knowing it's a very valuable item, the rarest and most scarce of Voyager series' calculators, and so it's become very desirable to the point that most of us would be more than eager to trade an "as new" HP-11C or even an HP-15C for a similar HP-10C, but back then, when it was introduced, it was doomed from the start. You would look at it with buyer's eyes, and would see this data:
Model: HP-15C HP-11C HP-10C
Max. steps: 448 210 70
Max. regs: 67 21 10
Price: $135-$80 $135-$65 $80-$70
So it's easy to see that the HP-11C offered 300% the
memory of the HP-10C for a very marginal increase in price
(20% at most). Which is more, while the HP-15C offered
more than 200% the memory of an HP-11C, the latter still
had programming features and RAM enough to do very worthwhile
programming, so it remained viable and sold very well, specially among the people who considered the extra HP-15C features (namely integrals, rootfinder, matrices and complex values) as too complicated and specialized for them.
On the other hand, the HP-10C has so little RAM and its programming capabilities are so abysmal that very little can be done with it. For instance, most HP-25 programs of any complexity simply won't fit at all, despite the HP-25 being a much older machine, and having just a maximum of 49 program steps. The reason is that it also had 8 permanently allocated storage registers, for a total of 15 registers worth of RAM, versus the 10 registers in the HP-10C, i.e: the HP-10C has 50% less RAM than even the HP-25 !!. No wonder it sold badly.
To be fair, the HP-10C would have enjoyed much greater success were it not for the existence of the HP-11C and HP-15C, because as a non-programmable calculator it really delivers. But next to an HP-11C, say, noone in his right mind would have purchased one if a mere $20 more would get you an HP-11C or an HP-15C, and that was obvious from the start.
HP should have done the right thing, releasing the HP-10C before the HP-11C, just as it did release the HP-11C prior to the HP-15C. That would have ensured tremendous sales for the HP-10C !! Instead, HP flopped big time with their marketing strategy for this model and poor little HP-10C was a total failure, undeservedly. It's only fair that now it has regained back the popularity it never enjoyed before, a little ugly duckling turned into a collector's swan ! .-)
Edited: 27 June 2003, 7:25 a.m.