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Full Version: Interesting article on the TI-84 and the graphing calculator market
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It is not so common to hear some market information on calculators, so this article in the Washington Post is interesting in that it gives some numbers: 1.6 million graphing calculator US market, down 10% from the previous year, 93% share for TI and 7% for Casio... how about HP? Some response to the article seems due, but then again, does anyone have any idea of HP-50g or HP Prime sales?

link to the article:

you can also link to it from engadget:

(09-06-2014 05:28 PM)Benoit Maag Wrote: [ -> ]... but then again, does anyone have any idea of HP-50g or HP Prime sales? ...

100% - (93% + 7%) = 0% ?

SCNR, Ralf.
Well, this subject has been discussed in this and other forums ad nauseum. TI has a lock on the education calculator market, at least in the US. The main reason for this is that TI has created a nation-wide network of training and support functions for math teachers and offers substantial discounts for calculators supplied for classroom use. Teachers then recommend TI calculators for their students, and parents are willing to spend the bucks so their child won't get left behind. It doesn't hurt the cause that the TI-84 calculators, while certainly not worth $100, are not bad calculators.

The future of calculators in education is anybody's guess, but my hunch is that smartphones (or whatever they morph into during the next decade), along with citizens growing resistance to be willing to pour more millions and millions of dollars into "technology" in the public schools, will change this landscape significantly. If HP was smart, it would be thinking about developing products for this changing world. I don't think the HP Prime is the answer.
Smartphones are incredibly powerful devices - which is a severe drawback in education: in their present form, they are a gateway to cheating. Unless this leak is plugged I don't see something alike officially released for use in schools.

(09-06-2014 07:02 PM)rkf Wrote: [ -> ]
(09-06-2014 05:28 PM)Benoit Maag Wrote: [ -> ]... but then again, does anyone have any idea of HP-50g or HP Prime sales? ...

100% - (93% + 7%) = 0% ?

SCNR, Ralf.


My point exactly: is HP's share of the US graphing calculator market so small that it is not even mentioned in the WSJ article or the NPD report it refers to? Is the data incorrect, or misleading (the article talks of the educational market, but quotes market shares for the 'US graphing calculator market' (not just education it seems)? Is the market for HP graphing machines mostly overseas then?

Curiosity only, but I really would like to see some calculator market report
(09-07-2014 05:31 AM)Benoit Maag Wrote: [ -> ]Is the market for HP graphing machines mostly overseas then?

I seriously doubt it - otherwise they would treat us better.

i believe that a 3-tiered approach is the way forward:

1) no electronic calculating devices allowed. this is for when teaching children basic arithmetic - times tables, long division and multiplication, addition and subtraction. the tools allowed would be pencil and paper, ruler, and a printed multiplication table as needsbe.

2) basic scientific, non-graphical and no significant programmability. such calculators would include the original FX-82, HP-20S, HP-15C, FX-31, etc. excluded would be anything with more than a few hundred bytes of memory. this would be the calculator that the student takes forward into their working life.

this calculator would be used in teaching trigonometry, engineering maths, and anything else where a numeric answer is desired. alongside this, students would be taught the basics of symbolic maths - integration, differentiation, as well as newtonian mechanics, matrix theory, etc.

3) advanced symbolic maths. the school to provide the necessary tools in theory, most likely an application running on a tablet or notebook PC. the student is then taught how the computer can be used to solve problems that previously had been too complicated to solve. this 3rd tier would contain material that very few students would make use of outside of the educational environment.

our overall goal is, over time, to displace the 4-function calculator in the general population, replacing it with the basic scientific. joe bloggs, the average citizen, would be familiar with using his basic scientific calculator to solve trig. problems and the likes, a major step up from the average person of today.

just my opinion,
rob :-)
The article mentions that the TI-84 Plus has remained basically unchanged since it was introduced in 2004 while other consumer electronics have changed dramatically in the same time frame.  What they don't mention is that the TI-84 Plus you can buy new today is very similar to TI's first graphing calculator, the TI-81 introduced in 1990.  Same processor (a slower clocked version of the Z80 introduced in 1976), same display and similar layout. They increased the amount of RAM, bumped up the processor speed, added Flash memory, added USB, updated the software and reduced the manufacturing cost.  Not a lot of technology progress for 24 years even factoring in the lack of competition and fulfillment of intended purpose. 

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