|Re: HHC2007 Poll Result: Bring Back the HP42S|
Message #23 Posted by DavidB on 13 Oct 2007, 3:19 a.m.,
in response to message #22 by Bruce Bergman
Pal, while I totally agree about wanting HP to "go for it" and I would be the first in line to buy one, I think people keep forgetting a critical law of economics here:
Value is perceived.
People have tried to translate $400 1973 dollars into 2007 dollars and they get a $2000 (or something) figure. Which they then use to say "back when, I actually paid $2000 for a calculator (in today's money)..." as if to illustrate how things today would go. The flaw in that is that back in 1973 and even 1983 and 1993, computers were still huge machines with extremely high dollar amounts. Spending $400 for a calc back then was *perceived* as being a big chunk of your pocket cash, but it was also *perceived* to be a good deal. No one today would spend $400 for a calculator (even me!! ;) because technology is so ubiquitous. As you pointed out, we have PDA's that do *everything* imaginable. Heck, my GPS unit in my car has a calculator, an address book, bluetooth functionality, it speaks street names, plays music and video, and can even download traffic updates from the internet. Oh yeah, it also is a mapping GPS. ;-) And I paid something like $250 for it.
So, while I would love to see HP come up with some high-end calcs, the demand just isn't there. There would only be a few of us calc nuts out there buying, and HP can't justify that. It can, however, justify mass-producing a mid-market unit that address a lot (if not most) of the needs of the folks out there.
I think HP once said that they'd need to sell at LEAST 25,000 of any one unit to *break even* on the costs, and that's assuming a fairly normal unit with no special features. I think we'd have a hard time selling 25,000 high-end units. Yeah, I'd buy two, but still...
Again, I'm not knocking your idea as a bad one -- just not an economically feasible one. ;-)
I, too, also feel that way concerning today's market demand for high-end calculators. There appears to be good demand for graphing calculators. Why are TI calculators so much more ubiquitous than are HP calculators among students? What is TI doing right that allows them to maintain their market share? Listen, folks. If HP is to remain a competitive source of the calculator technology, they need to aggressively target the academic audience. Engineering and science students who use a particular calculator brand will most likely use the same brand in their professional careers. Agree? Although I can only assume on this forum, it appears that many HP die-hards here are working professionals?
In the near future (maybe < 12 years from now), will calculators even exist as dedicated hardware? Will we have fast, affordable, 64 GB capacity, Wi-Fi ready, fuel-cell powered, hand-held devices that can function as a calculator of your choice (via downloadable calculator software from HP, TI, Casio, Sharp, etc.) and as a portable computer? Such a device could have a touch-sensitive, OLED keyboard layout that can adjust to the specific calculator model of your choice.
Edited: 15 Oct 2007, 2:03 a.m. after one or more responses were posted