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HP Forum Archive 10

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HP: Why give up on RPN?
Message #1 Posted by Joe Edwardsa on 3 Feb 2003, 6:15 p.m.

Forgive my ignorance, but I haven't need to use a calc in about 12 years. Now I am back in school and find that HP has taken a nose dive regarding their calculators. Could someone enlighten me on WHY HP has pretty much given up on RPN calcs? Also, WHY has HP stopped designing a small calc like the 32s and 42s? Their new models don't include anything like them unless you move up to the 48g models. I am just curious why HP would turn belly up and let TI take over? Thanks.


Re: HP: Why give up on RPN?
Message #2 Posted by Dave on 4 Feb 2003, 11:00 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Joe Edwardsa

They may be designing a calc w/ RPN to be released soon. Will not be of the same quality as previous but may have RPN in a smaller size. HP lost the market to TI in the educational arena because of their focus on engineers (the 28 / 48 series appealed to engineers but in reality few engineers could use the advanced features (they needed more power) and middle/high schools couldn't teach with them (RPL langauge etc. too complicated. HP set up an ACO operation in Australia but the geeks their simply repackaged the 48 in a poorer designed case with pretty colors and minimal technical and no ease of use enhancements. It seems they only now have the resources assigned to bring out outsourced calcs but think they will incorporate RPN into at least one of these designs (and maybe into a business model if they discontinue the 12C)

Re: HP: Why give up on RPN?
Message #3 Posted by Paul Guertin on 4 Feb 2003, 9:25 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by Dave

Are they really designing the future RPN calc in house, or just ordering it from some Asian manufacturer? Anyone know?

Re: HP: Why give up on RPN?
Message #4 Posted by Nick Nicholas on 4 Feb 2003, 9:45 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by Dave

I purchased a hp 48gx in the early 90's out of interest and later on a 17bii for work related use. I recall at the time that I purchased the hp 48 that I felt it was really expensive even when I was out of college and working.

I am curious to know if the relatively high cost of HP calculators was completely due to the higher manufacturing cost or HP's marketting to keep the margins high. I believe that had HP had made these products more affordable, these calculators would have enjoyed greater use and would have allowed HP to upgrade their products as technology advanced.

Re: HP: Why give up on RPN?
Message #5 Posted by Tom (UK) on 5 Feb 2003, 12:57 p.m.,
in response to message #4 by Nick Nicholas

I think in the early days HP charged alot because the technology was expensive AND they re-invested it in newer models.

Since the HP48, HP has not done much about continuing the upper niche they occupied, probably as they saw it as a shrinking market. They did develop the HP49 after a gap of about 10 years but I think it flopped because it was too complex and HP did not invest in any decent documentation.

So, since 1990 the high prices have gone first as profit and then, as production got more expensive (compared to newer designs), profit has shrunk to such an extent that they now just drop the models when they come up against an investment wall (HP32Sii, HP17Bii).

Newer HP calcs are old designs that have been rebadged (HP6, HP9S/G) or cheaper 'new' designs that are no better than any of the competition (HP30S, HP10bii).

One execption to the above was the redesign of the HP12C as this was selling well in the finance market, however reports about the quality of the 'new' Chinese built HP12C are that the keyboards are very poor (nothing against the Chinese - HP are probably getting what they are paying for from the Chinese factory).

News of a new RPN calc have circulated from an HP press release, but the anouncement seemed to be more hope than fact - I hope they do produce a new RPN calc but I'm not holding my breath...

Re: HP: Why give up on RPN?
Message #6 Posted by Nick Nicholas on 5 Feb 2003, 4:02 p.m.,
in response to message #5 by Tom (UK)

I guess the volume of sales of the calculators at competitive pricing levels could not sustain the profitability of the calculator products.

What are the quality of the Hp 48GX and 49G calculators that were made in China as compared with those that were made in Singapore for the 48GX and Indonesia for both?

Is the HP 48GX still being manufactured? I know that the web sites of HP in some countries no longer advertise the HP 48GX.

Re: HP: Why give up on RPN?
Message #7 Posted by Chan Tran on 5 Feb 2003, 6:51 p.m.,
in response to message #6 by Nick Nicholas

While HP calculators have always been more expensive than other brands, I did not feel that they were not worth their prices. I would rather see HP keeps the prices high or even increases prices if need be and maintains or improves the quality of the calculators. Newer calculators don't have the same quality of the older ones even though they do offer some desirable features.

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