What would they cost today? 10 classic pieces of tech history at today’s prices
How about paying almost $4,000 for a basic PC? Or $7,600 for a printer? That’s how much you would pay for some classic tech items if they were sold today with prices adjusted for inflation.
After having looked at classic hardware before here at Royal Pingdom, we now thought it would be interesting to dip into the pool of great gadgets again, this time focusing on prices.
So with the help of the Consumer Price Index Inflation Calculator, we’ve brought prices of a few classic tech items into the current year.
As you will see, we should be very grateful for what we pay for most tech today.
Like it or not, the IBM PC, introduced in 1981, has changed all our lives.
Price in 1981: $1,565
Price now adjusted for inflation: $3,898
Apple’s first iPod may only have had 5GB storage space and a FireWire connection, but it revolutionized an entire industry.
Price in 2001: $399
Price now adjusted for inflation: $510
JVC’s HR-3300 (in Japanese) was the first VCR to use VHS tape, which was quite a feat when it went on sale in 1976.
Price in 1976: $1,400
Price now adjusted for inflation: $5,571
Price in 1981: $150
Price now adjusted for inflation: $374
How many missed hours of sleep the Atari 2600 has been responsible for over the years we’ll never know. But the simple fact is, it was a dream come true for countless of geeks around the world.
Price in 1977: $199
Price now adjusted for inflation: $744
Canon A-1 SLR
The Canon A-1 was a landmark in photography history and one of the most successful SLR cameras ever.
Price in 1978: $625 (with 50mm f1.4 lens)
Price now adjusted for inflation: $2,070
Motorola DynaTAC 8000X
The Motorola DynaTAC 8000X was the first commercial handheld mobile phone. In the picture, the DynaTAC is seen together with Dr. Martin Cooper, the former general manager for the systems division at Motorola.
Price in 1983: $3,995
Price now adjusted for inflation: $9,082
The Apple II made Apple its first fortune, and was in production between 1977-1993.
Price in 1977: $1,298
Price now adjusted for inflation: $4,816
The first LaserJet from HP was also the first laser printer for personal computers.
Price in 1984: $3,495
Price now adjusted for inflation: $7,616
Swinger was Polaroid’s first mass market instant camera.
Price in 1965: $19.95
Price now adjusted for inflation:$143.40
Be glad we don’t pay these prices
Clearly everything is just ridiculously expensive in today’s prices, which is no surprise. Since the HP12c is still sold, it’s especially interesting to compare its current price of $70, which is less than half of when it originally sold, to the original price adjusted for inflation.
The conclusion can only be, as we said in the beginning, that we should be very grateful for what we pay for most tech today. For example, who would pay $9,000 for a mobile phone?
Oops, it appears at least some people would.
All pictures appear courtesy of Wikipedia, except the picture of the HP LaserJet, which appears courtesy of HP.