[Asterisk-Users] Cost of IP Phones, or Isn't It Just Software?

Andy Powell andy at beagles-den.demon.co.uk
Thu Jun 17 01:33:52 MST 2004

On 16/06/2004 at 22:53 Jay Milk wrote:

>You're correct -- I believe I pointed out in my original post that there
>is a $200+ difference between a cordless Cisco with/without software.
>And that's plain ridiculous.  Plus, the phone alone isn't worth $500 in
>hardware -- so we're obviously dealing with GREED here.
>My knee-jerk response to such business tactics always has been to do it
>better and cheaper.  Six years ago, I was talking to IT personel in
>industry "X".  There were two established mainframe solutions in that
>industry serving 80% of the market, costing $50K-$75K start-up cost per
>location, plus $1K+ per seat.  Never mind the $10K-$15K monthly
>"maintenance" cost.  Never mind that everyone had to be able to work a
>terminal with a lovely amber on black, text-based "GUI".
<snip for brevity>

I think you're missing the point. When you develop hardware or software you
need to recoup the cost of development (the period in which you aren't selling
anything, so not making any money). Now Cisco has it's fingers in many pies
so they aren't going to suffer to much from that now, but they do have to fund

Secondly, Cisco don't really care if their phones are out of your price range,
they are typically sold as part of a solution costing 10's of 1000's or 100's of
1000's of USD/GBP/EUR and (most probably) with big discounts.

Thirdly, If I make a device at a cost of $5 and sell it for $500, some people will
buy it, up to the point where someone builds a similar device and sells it for
$150 ...You have a choice. companies are not charities, they do this to make 
money.  This is what we call capitalism.

I don't want to dig at your business, and this isn't intended to but.. what you did
is look at what was already on offer and it's costs, how it worked etc and built a
cheaper solution. The reason you could do this is because you had the exposure 
to the 'system' as was.. i.e. You looked at it and said 'I can do that cheaper' but
without that original system you probably wouldn't have. 

One final point... There are some companies that have this weird feeling that anything
under a certain amount must be cheap and nasty and not work properly. These people
are fools imho, but they do exist...and they wont buy an cheap phone, they'll buy an
expensive phone, regardless of it's ability... as we've seen recently some governments
will even buy helicopters that can't fly in fog or where it's sandy for silly money...

Now I feel dirty... 


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