Sure... but you might be surprised at how few people are in that category compared to the world population... ie people who would spend an extra $1000 to have a PM. Likely sales of a thousand or less per year makes the development costs a big chunk of the gross income.
You can pretty much say that about anything cycling-related.
This is a niche sport. The manufacturers sell high-end goods to the very few that can afford them. The prices reflect that preference.
But automatically assuming that there will be no market for an item if sold at a lower cost than others seems strange.
How is it possible that there is a market for SRM power meters, but not for something quite a bit less expensive that would do the same thing-measure power output?
I could only assume that you'd sell more if the prices were better. And if you include Starnuts' reply that the technology involved in these power meters isn't any more complicated than a bathroom scale, it seems strange that a manufacturer hasn't taken the idea of mass-production and ran with it.
Cell phones and ipods are relatively inexpensive for what they do. They are massed produced and almost everyone has at least one if not both.
The very same principal would apply to even our little niche sport. We have, over the last 10-15 or more years, resigned ourselves into thinking the prices we pay for these niche goods are reflective of some economic reality that is beyond the control of the manufacturer.
But as much of the manufacturing has gone to Asia, where materials and labor are astronomical less expensive, the prices for these same goods have gone through the roof. There is a direct correlation here.
Once you are told that a polyester team jersey is worth $250 dollars because of the technology behind it, you will believe it. Even though it is made by the cheapest labor and the most inexpensive materials the manufacturer can find on the face of the Earth.
It is not up to me to set prices for manufacturers or argue with anyone over the validity of their collective price gauging.
But we seem to be in a new world. It will be down to those who have the business sense to cash in on what is possible in these new and difficult times and create opportunities.
The cycling world will no doubt be hit just as hard as any expensive hobby by the global economic crisis. It is only a matter of time. I believe the person or persons who take the bull by the horns to do something along the lines of what we've been discussing will succeed.
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