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MFD pricing

Old 02-21-2015, 03:56 AM
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Default MFD pricing

maybe someone can explain this. The brains in a 5" display MFD seemed to be the same as in a 12" display, GPS, FF, SD Slot etc. So the only real difference seems to be the display size. You can get a 5" display for $500. 12" display is $2500. Does it really cost that much more for a bigger screen and box to put it in? Or is something else at play. I mean, you can get 21" LCD TV Screens for $100. I know that screen isnt meant for boat use, but both the 5' and 12" display on a MFD are. So, what justifies the price difference?

And, why not have an HDMI out on a 5" model for those who would just put a larger screen in. My old eye need a bigger display.
Old 02-21-2015, 04:06 AM
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Touch screen and the level of touch ability is a big factor in the screen size cost.
For $500 more you can go from a 8 to s 10.4 inch screen with buttons. In a 7 to 9 inch touch screen its over $1000 more fore the 2 inches. In most brands once you drop below 7 inches its not a full function machine. Screen resolutions also contribute. The majority of new 7 inch and larger machines are now including Chirp, either single or dual band and some variant of down vu side scan.
Old 02-21-2015, 04:19 AM
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The companies need to cover their engineering and marketing costs, this is done by putting much higher margins on the larger models. Those of us requiring the best will buy them anyway

A more fair comparison would be the 7" models with full networking, very few 5" can be considered full MFD's, Lowrance HDS-5 is the only 5" unit I would consider a full blown MFD.

Even what we may think of as consumer grade marine electronics is actually industrial grade electronics, it's designed to work over a large temperature range, withstand water, salt, vibrations and shocks. The screens are very bright sunlight viewable touch screens. Marine electronics is produced in small volumes compared to consumer products. So comparing marine electronics with consumers electronics really don't make sense.
Old 02-21-2015, 04:28 AM
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Originally Posted by abbor View Post
The companies need to cover their engineering and marketing costs, this is done by putting much higher margins on the larger models. Those of us requiring the best will buy them anyway A more fair comparison would be the 7" models with full networking, very few 5" can be considered full MFD's, Lowrance HDS-5 is the only 5" unit I would consider a full blown MFD. Even what we may think of as consumer grade marine electronics is actually industrial grade electronics, it's designed to work over a large temperature range, withstand water, salt, vibrations and shocks. The screens are very bright sunlight viewable touch screens. Marine electronics is produced in small volumes compared to consumer products. So comparing marine electronics with consumers electronics really don't make sense.
I was thinking the exact same thing. Your points are very valid. You can even expand this to the outboard engine market. The cost is really in the engineering and R and D. There are many back end costs as well such as warranty and support costs.
Old 02-22-2015, 03:21 AM
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Originally Posted by abbor View Post
The companies need to cover their engineering and marketing costs, this is done by putting much higher margins on the larger models. Those of us requiring the best will buy them anyway

A more fair comparison would be the 7" models with full networking, very few 5" can be considered full MFD's, Lowrance HDS-5 is the only 5" unit I would consider a full blown MFD.

Even what we may think of as consumer grade marine electronics is actually industrial grade electronics, it's designed to work over a large temperature range, withstand water, salt, vibrations and shocks. The screens are very bright sunlight viewable touch screens. Marine electronics is produced in small volumes compared to consumer products. So comparing marine electronics with consumers electronics really don't make sense.
Yes, but those factors apply equally to the 5" lowrance and the 12" lowrance. Lets forget the touch screen for a moment, as I can accept that it is more complicated and expensive the larger it gets. But compare say, a Gen2 HDS5 to a Gen2 HDS 10, twice the cost for what is presumably just a bigger screen? Could you hook a hds5 to a hds10 screen and get exactly the same performance? assuming of course that you didnt need a different video driver to fill the screen. thats just a matter of swapping drivers. So, is there something else in this scenario that justifies a doubling of cost?
Old 02-22-2015, 03:47 AM
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It's actually quite simple, the companies need a certain amount of earnings to pay for fixed costs like R&D, marketing and executive management. These costs can be spread evenly over all units, divided proportionally according to screen size or divided such that the larger screens pays a much larger portion.

The average boating Joe buy a 5 or 7" unit and price is the most important selection criteria. To avoid new competitors coming up and taking large stakes in this marked tier the large players offer their premium technology also for this segment (which is not willing to pay for it). Those of us requiring the latest and best and which will maybe install two 12" units we are willing to pay a large overhead to get the large screens anyway.

If we look at the smartphone marked we will see something similar, out of contract you will have to pay 2-3x as much for the Samsung top models compared to the mid level Samsung models which gives almost the same functionally.
Old 02-22-2015, 04:43 AM
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Ok, that part I get. So basically, no real difference except profit.
Old 02-22-2015, 04:47 AM
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Production volumes are also very different. Production volumes for the different models can also be used to justify the differences.
Old 02-22-2015, 07:25 AM
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A lot of times, companies will charge extra for perceived value, even though delivering a higher level of performance is nothing more than a software change.

Case in point, E-Tec's. The major differences between a 150 and a 175 are software settings. The powerhead and all major components are the same.

Other examples abound in IT.

So in some ways, they are exploiting market potential on the higher end products. It drives efficiencies and increases profits.

Competition is the best cure to this. It's hard to charge a premium when someone else isn't. But when they all do it, it can be painful.
Old 02-22-2015, 07:31 AM
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Without the premium they are charging for the larger high end models the marine electronics industry wouldn't have been able to fund the innovation we have seen the last few years.
Old 02-22-2015, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by abbor View Post
Without the premium they are charging for the larger high end models the marine electronics industry wouldn't have been able to fund the innovation we have seen the last few years.
No different than the auto industry, all the luxury cars have all the latest and greatest and in a few years most cheaper models have many of the same features. You pay for the gee whiz factor.
Old 02-22-2015, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by greylion View Post
No different than the auto industry, all the luxury cars have all the latest and greatest and in a few years most cheaper models have many of the same features. You pay for the gee whiz factor.
That's fine, if there really is a difference beyond just a bigger screen, but I don't see that between hds5 and 12.
Old 02-22-2015, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by manitunc View Post
That's fine, if there really is a difference beyond just a bigger screen, but I don't see that between hds5 and 12.

If you don't see a difference between HDS-5 and HDS-12 Touch I recommend new glasses




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