Yaesu FT-991 Pricing

So far we had only rumors, an estimated price of $1600 – $1800. As it turns out the rumors were quite accurate.

USA: $1699.95 (Universal Radio)
UK: £999.00 (Nevada Radio)
NL: € 1.269,00 (hamshop.nl)

Availability not guaranteed (yet).

As soon as the price point became clear, there were a lot of comments from hams. Some remarks taken from Google+:

“Wow that is a bit pricey!” (Matt Kent)

“Certainly not a FT-897 class replacement but the LCD display took care of that idea all by itself.” (David Gillooly)

“The problem i see with this is they are replacing a 1000 dollar radio with a 2000 dollar one that does not really do much more than the 1000 dollar one. The built in tuners specs are not even on par with a LDG that costs only 150 and the digital mode isn’t worth that much additional money. I can only assume they wanted this model to fail or its not really focused on the American backpackers market at all.” (Trinity Bays)

They are all pricey for me. (Hunkerdown Homestead)

The radio will probably sell well, regardless of the comments. Whether the radio is worth its price is to be seen. Too pricey? Maybe, but don’t forget that VHF and UHF are included, and so is Yaesu’s own digital mode System Fusion.

From a commercial point of view I think including System Fusion is a smart move. Making it an option will certainly make the FT-991 cheaper, but it would slow down the adaptation of System Fusion. If it’s there, chances are that you will use it. If it’s an option, people might think “Meh” and ignore it.

7 comments on “Yaesu FT-991 Pricing

  1. From a marketing standpoint, it’s not a bad move. But if C4FM flops (like WIRES and ARTS did), then including System Fusion will just make the radio more expensive and less competitive.

    The display is another matter. It only makes sense for base station use. Without a detachable face, you have to mount the radio within arm’s reach to use the touch screen. And I’m sceptical that the TFT screen would survive cold temperatures.

    The touch screen just makes the entire radio more fragile. It’s the *screen* that should have been made an option, not C4FM. If you want something like a touch screen for base station use, then Yaesu could have sold you a *separate* 5″ display that plugs in to the radio. And, when it gets scratched up or broken, you could replace the display instead of sending the entire rig in for repairs.

    Let’s not forget that there’s no option for *internal batteries* like the FT-897 has, nor a carrying handle. VHF and UHF are included in the FT-897, too, though the FT-991 has 50W RF out on UHF rather than 20W for the FT-897. Still, more power is less important on UHF, as I’m sure you know.

    Hopefully, Yaesu will give you one for a review.

  2. And the VHF/UHF connector is SO-239, wich is a downgrade from FT-897 and a sad attempt at saving US$1 on a US$1700 radio.

    I wish they would move to the 21st century already, dump the heterodyne architecture already and go direct-sampling SDR, a LT2208 is about the same price class as an AMBE-3000 chip used for that useless C4FM feature.

    • For the US market Yaesu always put SO-239 for VHF/UHF on their rigs, European versions always had N. I expect Yaesu to do the same with the FT-991. SDR is an interesting technology, but I’m not sure if it’s the right thing to do when you want to keep the price tag down.

      Whether C4FM (System Fusion) is useless or not is open for debate, just like DMR or D-Star. Some love it, some hate it, some couldn’t care less. It’s basically a matter of taste. Only future will tell.

  3. I don’t know what they’re doing in Europe, but on this side of the pond Yaesu is ether giving C4FM repeaters to amateur radio clubs for free or making them available at a big discount. Not surprisingly, a lot of them are getting installed so once the club is ready to go digital then it’s simply a matter of enabling the technology.

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