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The unstoppable TI-84 Plus: How an outdated calculator still holds a monopoly on classrooms - The Washington Post

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“We have to keep evolving on this platform, but it can’t be innovation for the sake of innovation,” said Peter Balyta, president of Texas Instruments’ calculator division. “While it’s tempting for us to build in WiFi, Bluetooth, audio, a camera, a whole bunch of things, we could do, but teachers don’t want us to. And it’s because we want to have a tool that kids can use in a classroom, on their way home, at home when they’re doing homework and also a tool they can bring in during their most important exam.”

But graphing calculators are a market where price isn’t especially important. Parents — not teachers — end up paying for whatever graphing calculator is required. If you’re asking someone else to buy something, you may not be overly focused on whether they’re getting a great deal.

Free graphing calculator apps are available. But smartphones can’t be used on standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT.

Aren't graphing calculators ripe for disruption by Chromebooks?

That's the whole point. They want focused device for the job, not all purpose source of continued distraction.

I see. So those devices will never go away?

Right, but these devices, especially used for education, should be very low cost.

$94 :

Used Android devices are cheaper. 

Someday soon new Android devices will be cheaper, too.

Nice... It's only two days of work on minimum wage. Not bad at all for a thing, which is free on iPhone.

It's surprising that free on iPhone put no price pressure down on it at all.

It's unsurprising at all. Schools do not care about the price, demanding the calculator. Parent have to satisfy school requirements. Ridicules example of corporate welfare. Same story as with textbooks for $120.

You're right, that's ridiculous. And unsurprising. 

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