|Re: hp 12cp and hp33s|
Message #26 Posted by Ben Salinas on 11 Jan 2006, 6:50 p.m.,
in response to message #11 by Ron Ross
IT WOULD SELL LIKE HOTCAKES.
I doubt that it would. I don't think many today would buy an $80 scientific calculator, when you get a $100 TI Graphing Calculator. Whether or not someone actually uses the graphing features of their calculator, the fact that it graphs makes users think it is more powerful.
I feel that the best thing companies like TI have going for them is their name. In high school, most people would refer to their graphing calculator not as a graphing calculator but as their "TI-89" or "TI-83" or, most often, their "TI." The brand name replaced the actual product (kind of like Kleenex or Xerox... I blow my noise with generic Kleenexes.) When you have this brand recognition, you begin to associate the brand with quality. Then, companies like Casio and HP become "generic" companies. When going to the store, you see 8 TI calculators for every one HP calculator. This is partially due to the fact that TI makes a wider variety of calculators (but only slightly, perhaps?).
Let's consider for the moment this situation. A high school student needs a calculator for a class. His teacher says, "Go buy a calculator." Every other student in the class had a TI-89. His teacher only knows how to use a TI-89. The textbook has special sections about the TI-89. He goes to the store, and he now has a choice. He could buy 8 varieties of a TI graphing calculator, or a Casio graphing calculator, or an HP 49g+. He is going to buy the TI-89, almost certainly. Why would he buy any other calculator?
Well, he begins to use this calculator. He gets used to it, and believes it is the best calculator ever. It is very powerful, and can do almost anything (anything it can't do, he pretends doesn't matter, or says "My TI-89 can't do it, how can you expect me to do it!?!") As he grows older, he goes to college. He has the choice to keep his existing calculator (or buy a calculator similar to it), or get something completely new and different. He chooses to keep his same calculator.
He goes out to work, and uses a calculator. The calculator breaks one day. He goes out and buys the new model of the same calculator. When he has kids, and they need calculators, he buys the same model for them. The cycle continues.
People enjoy being familiar with things, and people enjoy being good at things. If you know English really well, and live in America, is there any reason to learn Russian? Sure. There are some reasons. Maybe your family all speaks Russian, and you would like to have something in common with them. Maybe you are going to get a job in Russia. Maybe you grew up speaking Russian as well as English. Maybe you are curious, and would like to learn something new. Otherwise, probably not. Most people will just happily continue to speak English.
TI is picking up users when they are in middle school and high school. They feel there is no reason to switch over to buying a more expensive calculator to learn something more "complex." (and perhaps there is no reason... isn't it a matter of preference).
How many of you all would give up what you are familiar with in order to try something new? How many of you all are willing to use Algebraic, instead of RPN? The answers to these questions are evident in posts such as "Bring back the 15c" and "I want a big enter key" and "RPN is the best thing ever."
I bet other calculator users feel the same way about what they know.