Bringing back the HP 15C - why not


Reading the articles on and the petition to subscribe I thought, why not !

The hardware (in a different colour) is still build (HP 12C) why not bringing back the 15C alive.

Many people will be very happy (including me)


Hi mvdn,

we had this discussion in this forum several times already. One result is the OpenRPN project, please see . According to the opinion of the vast majority of the experts here, HP itself will not bring this calculator back based on the recent number of signers of the petition - sorry. So, the only hope is said project.


i have decided, heretically, i don’t want to bring back the 15c, even though its my favourite hp calculator!

its a bit like when you think back to all those computer games of the 80’s and how cool they were. but when you fire up an emulator and run them, they’re just so out of date.

i would, however, like to see an evolution of the 15c. say something like the 15c, but add alpha capability. add an extra line of display, widen the display (keeping the case the same size tho’). much more memory. much, much faster! and a choice of either keystroke programming or something more structured like either an evolved rpl or even some kind of basic (71b basic would be fine). add an ir tranceiver in the corner or an sd card if you really must.

change the batteries from 3 lr44 to 2 AAA to provide the required mAh (faster processor, etc.) keep the keys the same but drop the alphabetic codes under the keys, for which there is ample space. cost wise, it would be around the same as the 49g+, or perhaps a bit more if the keys and case were nice like the originals.

i think that’s viable without going overboard.


Well it's been addressed a few times before, but as a recap:

- HP sells calculators in competition with other co's based on FEATURES. Whether those are really valid features or not, distributors, stores, etc. look at # of features for price. They have different price point 'slots' up and down the scale. HP15C would be perceived by regular folks and marketing droids as going 'backwards' - remember these are standards of the folks filling these channels. They don't understand usability refinements, etc.

Our views simply won't/don't/can't register. We're a small community of fanatics. Selling into our demographic might get 25K calculators sold. Maybe some lucky carryover might get 70K calcs sold. This'd be web-only sales, etc. Prob not at any major store: the 15C could not get on a shelf at any store - unfortunately. The calc market is primarily seen as not "engineering" or even "academic" but "educational", and probably has its peak sales in August/September 'back to school' times (at least in USA).

If they can throw in RPN on a calc for $0 additional ocst, like they did on 33S, they might do it. But that calc is probably not gonna be an RPN-centric calc.

- Cost of a calc is NOT in the electronics. LCD, case, quality KB and battery clips may well cost more than the IC.
The 65C02-flavored microcontroller in the 33S might only be $0.40-$0.60 depending if mask ROM, how much RAM, how strong the I/O drive levels, etc. Plus pinning costs.

Packaging, distribution, support, marketing all probably cost MORE than the parts cost of calc.

- Given the above, and the way HP does things, etc. no matter if it was an original 15C, it would cost AT LEAST $1Million, probably more, to reintroduce it - even if they still had and understood the original internal firmware.

HP could not conceive of running 15C internal firmware in an emulation layer on a non-Nut processor, and would start re-coding 15C from scratch on a new CPU. (Which explains the bugs in the 12C-Platinum.)

And there is probably nobody at HP that knows the Nut CPU anymore. There may not even be original source code for 15C anymore - was prob developed on minicomputer/mainframe. Might have a tape backup _somewhere_ and a printout - if they could find it after multiple divisional building moves. ;)

Bill Wiese

San Jose

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