When looking back at the last ten years of technological progress, we’ll notice that a whole lot has changed. Smartphones, Ultrabooks, LED-TVs, ‘real’ tablets –even smart vacuums were invented in the past ten years.

One thing that barely changed however, is the Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus calculator. It stayed the same ever since 2004. The built-in parts are the same, the MRVP is at $150, the software is just being updated with new formulas every once in a while.

These days, consumer electronics get a lot cheaper with the time. You can get high-end smartphones from 2012 starting at 100€. So how can Texas Instruments afford to sell the same thing for a consecutive ten years without changing its pricing?

When the calculator was first released, there was no competitor to it which could offer the same functionality for a relatively “low price”. The TI-84 became a golden standard in US High-Schools and Colleges. And even though our current generation smartphones and tablets can easily do whatever the TI-84 can do – the students and professors still stay true to their trusty TI-84.

By now, building a TI-84 Plus only costs around $15-20. Thus, Texas Instrument has a profit margin of over 50% on every single sold calculator. Just to get an idea: LG makes around 3% profit with every notebook they sell!

It’s not that I love math, nor am I a calculator geek. I’m just amazed with how an old calculator even today continues to keep smartphones and tablets out of the class rooms.

I guess the German equivalent to the TI-84 Plus is the Casio FX-991DE Plus – You’ll find that bad boy in basically every German class room! Oh man, thinking about the Casio is like walking down memory lane. I’m not talking about pleasurable memories. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate the Casio which helped me get through math lessons.

Copyright and Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/wp/2014/09/02/the-unstoppable-ti-84-plus-how-an-outdated-calculator-still-holds-a-monopoly-on-classrooms/?tid=sm_fb