Opinion: Will $65 Laser Printer Impact Cost of Future Devices?

  • Amazon is selling a Brother monochrome laser printer for $65. In 1985, Apple’s Laserwriter for the Mac, arguably the first commercially successful laser printer, cost $6,995.
  • So in 27 years, we now pay less than 1 percent of the original cost! And for you economists, the dollar buys much less today than it did back then.
  • If one assumes a similar cost reduction over the next 27 years, we will be paying $6 for the new iPhone (with no contract required), $5 for the new iPad — or if you don’t want to pay anything, these low costs suggest both the iPhone and iPad will be given away FREE with an iTunes subscription.
  • Of course, Apple will certainly add new features and capabilities to justify a higher cost — perhaps it all fits into your heads up display glasses and SIRI can access or do anything. But even a new device like this will have dramatically reduced pricing based on the Moore’s Law cost curve.
  • Now, if we could only get healthcare to come down like this!

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