|Re: OpenRPN Progress / Bringing back the 15c and why that will not happen|
Message #4 Posted by Gene Wright on 12 Oct 2005, 3:42 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by Frank Travis
I think greater knowledge and understanding of accounting and business will help to answer why HP has not yet brought back the 15c.
First, there's an assumption that HP's calculator division has more people in it than there really are. Second, there's an assumption that of the people who are in the division, there are a large number of engineers.
It would appear that HP had the 12cp re-engineered from "scratch" a few years ago and when it came out, it had several "problems" that have required time to fix.
The question might arise: "If HP could do that with the 12c, why can't they with the 15c?"
Because it is probably not profitable for them to do so. My guess is that the HP12c and HP12c platinum sell 20-50X more units than the 15c ever did. HP repeatedly came out with newer (better?) financial calculators in what appeared to be an attempt to kill off the 12c in favor of the newer product. Of those, the 12c is still made. The replacements are the ones no longer made.
The 15c did not sell well enough to continue making it. Same thing for my beloved 42s.
Assume a development cost of $10,000,000.
Assume HP gets 10% of the retail price to its bottom line.
Now, convince HP brass that at certain price points, the sales volume estimates in your analysis will prove true, whatever price point you pick.
Price $99, sales units per year = 400,000
HP nets $9.90 each x 400,000 = $3,960,000 "profit" each year, taking nearly 3 years to earn back the investment.
This would be laughed out of the room.
(2) Price $299, sales units per year = 50,000
HP nets $29.90 each x 50,000 = $1,495,000 "profit" each year, taking nearly 7 years to earn it back.
This is the picture.
Why a development cost of $10,000,000? If HP works like most other large corporations, each product/project is allocated costs of the enterprise. This may be a cost for each product number in the catalog, it may be an allocation based on some other method.
The time it takes the VERY few HP technical people to spec out the 15c replacement OR to test the one made by an out-sourced vendor is time that/those people are not fixing "bugs" in the 49g+, they aren't fixing decimal points in the 33S, they aren't improving the "i" solve routine in the HP12c platinum. Etc.
Why are prices so high on ebay for 15c calculators? Because there aren't thousands of them available all the time. If there are a dozen a week, they may well sell for $150-300 each (My last 15c on ebay I got for $80).
It just won't work these days. Not enough people will pay $299 for a new 15c.
So, we can either dream aka waste out time calling for HP to bring it back, or we can try living in the real world of economics. Personally, I enjoy dreaming at times, but then since I have a couple of working 15c calculators, why do I care if HP makes a new one?
P.S. Other examples of things that haven't worked include JYA's attempt to make a scientific PDA (couldn't raise the $$ it appears) and so far, the Open RPN project. I've been skeptical of the OpenRPN project all along that it would ever really bring anything to fruition and that appears to be it's fate.
P.P.S. Perhaps I should start a new petition drive to Unisys: Bring back the Univac!