Scientific Calculator was the world's first handheld scientific
calculator and HP's first
product that contained both integrated circuits and LEDs.
The HP-35 Scientific Calculator, so called because
it had 35 keys, was introduced in 1972. It was the world's first
handheld scientific calculator. In one of the most amazing displacements
in the history of technology, the HP-35 Scientific Calculator
electronic calculator, and others like it, quickly replaced the
faithful slide rule that had been used by generations of engineers
and scientists for rapid calculation and simple computation.
The HP 35 was HP's
first product that contained both integrated circuits and LEDs (light-emitting
diodes). Both technologies had been developed in HP
Labs. Bill Hewlett, who, in 1968, had challenged HP engineers to
make a desktop-size computer (the 9100A), challenged them
again in 1971 to take that desktop computer and make it small enough
to fit into his shirt pocket. When the tiny powerhouse reached the
prototype stage, HP asked a
local market research firm to do a market study. They did and determined
that the HP-35 Scientific Calculator
would never sell because it was too expensive. Bill said "We're going
to go ahead anyway." The product was so popular that HP
couldn't make them fast enough.
Bill remembered, "We figured, in the first year, if we could sell
10,000 calculators, we'd break even. We sold 100,000."
By the time the HP-35 Scientific Calculator was
discontinued in 1975, just three and one-half years after its introduction,
more than 300,000 had been sold.
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