|Re: Bringing back the HP 15C - why not|
Message #4 Posted by Bill Wiese on 13 Jan 2005, 2:15 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by mvdn
Well it's been addressed a few times before, but as a recap:
- HP sells calculators in competition with other co's based on FEATURES. Whether those are really valid features or not, distributors, stores, etc. look at # of features for price. They have different price point 'slots' up and down the scale. HP15C would be perceived by regular folks and marketing droids as going 'backwards' - remember these are standards of the folks filling these channels. They don't understand usability refinements, etc.
Our views simply won't/don't/can't register. We're a small community of fanatics. Selling into our demographic might get 25K calculators sold. Maybe some lucky carryover might get 70K calcs sold. This'd be web-only sales, etc. Prob not at any major store: the 15C could not get on a shelf at any store - unfortunately. The calc market is primarily seen as not "engineering" or even "academic" but "educational", and probably has its peak sales in August/September 'back to school' times (at least in USA).
If they can throw in RPN on a calc for $0 additional ocst, like they did on 33S, they might do it. But that calc is probably not gonna be an RPN-centric calc.
- Cost of a calc is NOT in the electronics. LCD, case, quality KB and battery clips may well cost more than the IC.
The 65C02-flavored microcontroller in the 33S might only be $0.40-$0.60 depending if mask ROM, how much RAM, how strong the I/O drive levels, etc. Plus pinning costs.
Packaging, distribution, support, marketing all probably cost MORE than the parts cost of calc.
- Given the above, and the way HP does things, etc. no matter if it was an original 15C, it would cost AT LEAST $1Million, probably more, to reintroduce it - even if they still had and understood the original internal firmware.
HP could not conceive of running 15C internal firmware in an emulation layer on a non-Nut processor, and would start re-coding 15C from scratch on a new CPU. (Which explains the bugs in the 12C-Platinum.)
And there is probably nobody at HP that knows the Nut CPU anymore. There may not even be original source code for 15C anymore - was prob developed on minicomputer/mainframe. Might have a tape backup _somewhere_ and a printout - if they could find it after multiple divisional building moves. ;)