Eventually all good products run their course and for various reasons go out of production.
This spring saw the outstanding FlexRadio Systems Flex-5000A radio discontinued as the combination of being overshadowed by FlexRadio System’s Flex-6000 series and market place economics due once standard parts having become legacy items available only at premium custom run prices collided.
According to news shared by fellow blogger Jeff KE9V TenTec found itself in a parts availability/cost pickle leading to the end of production of the Orion II.
Jeff KE9V reported:
Got a note from TenTec today that included this — “On a rather sad note, about the time you read this message, we will have sold out of the last 566 Orion II transceiver. Unfortunately, due to the availability of some very critical parts plus skyrocketing prices for difficult components, the staff at TEN-TEC decided to discontinue this product. This does not mean we will not trade or sell used and demo Orion’s and Orion II models. We will continue service and support this product as we have done in the past with all TEN-TEC products. Is a new Orion III on the horizon? There are plans for several new TEN-TEC products lined up for the future but at this time no concise decision has been made for another Orion transceiver.”
If you recollect the Orion II was the result of the original DragonBall processor being discontinued, as well as an opportunity to upgrade the product during the redesign. The DragonBall Super VZ 66 MHz processor of the Orion II seems to have disappeared as well.
Less substantiated is the the rumblings about Icom’s IC-7800, which some Icom representatives have mentioned to present IC-7800 owners that production is unlikely to continued when present inventory is depleted. There is no word what might replace this nearly 10 year old product. I wouldn’t stake my reputation on exactly when the IC-7800 new sales cease, as even the list price is matter of confusion with retailers quoting list pricing of $10,000 to $13,500 and “street prices” of $9,800-10,500
Even weirder rumblings surround the button heavy Kenwood TS-990S, mostly that the radio is Kenwood’s “Swan Song” last offering before it leave the Amateur Radio Market. Despite the performance reports suggesting the TS-990S is basically a TS-570D in wolf’s clothing, it is just odd that a product would come to market with a “last hurrah” storyline. It is pretty clear that the TS-990S is a brand-satisifaction product and not a performance leadership product.
Interesting higher end of the market.
Maybe there are some neat new products ready in the wings?