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The 30-year-old calculator with a cult Wall Street following
The HP 12c financial calculator made its debut in 1981, but sales are going strong decades later. Why does Wall Street still love this little device?
There may be many computers and apps and other calculators that look better, but the HP 12c calculator has proved fast, reliable and worth its $70 price tag for some techies.
There may be many computers and apps and other calculators that look better, but the HP 12c calculator has proved fast, reliable and worth its $70 price tag for some techies.
CC BY: LifeSupercharger
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he story: It has been 30 years since Hewlett-Packard's HP 12c calculator was introduced, and in that time the device has become the "cult calculator" for financial types, says Kristina Peterson in The Wall Street Journal. Sales of the slim $70 calculator haven't fallen off even though HP has released more advanced models and, more recently, a 12c iPhone app that "replicates all the calculator's functions." Its fans have even turned up their noses at changes that made the calculator faster, according to Richard Nelson, the editor of HP's official calculator newsletter, as cited in the Journal.
The reaction:
"I've become so addicted to it that I am unable to use the iPhone calculator correctly," says John Lynch, chief equity strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management Group, as quoted in The Wall Street Journal. And it's amazing that the IBM PC born the same year is now a "museum piece," says Pablo Valerio at The New Global Enterprise. Yes, this is "the calculator that never dies," says The Museum of HP Calculators. "It has become part of the well-dressed business uniform."

 

(CC BY: Ho John Lee)

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