Amstrad Buys Sinclair Research IP
7th April 1986
End of the Road for Sinclair Research
By early 1986 Sinclair Research owed creditors 7 million pounds, this 5 Million deal with Amstrad was for the marketing and merchandising rights for the Sinclair brand name.
The C5 electric car had failed to find a market for itself, and the QL computer had also proved a disaster at retail, with major reliability and production problems which had cost Sinclair enormous sums of money. Despite holding a 40% share of the UK computer market, this lack of reliability, not only in the QL, but Spectrum range as well had led to spiralling costs.
Also increased competiton from companies such as Amstrad had led to price cuts on the hardware, putting more pressure on the company than ever.
With retailers over ordering computer stock and saturating the market with too many machines, it became inevitable that Sinclair would have to be sold or be liquidated.
Sadly almost all staff from Sinclair Research were made redundant immediately after the sale as Amstrad sought to cut costs, the QL machine was completely abandoned.
Amstrad had been rising fast in the world of consumer electronics, producing cheap and easy to use machines such as VCRs, and had major success with the Amstrd CPC range, especially in Western Mainland Europe.
Amstrad took the last Sinclair machine the Spectrum 128K, and reworked it into the ZX Spectrum +2, adding a full travel keyboard and attached cassette deck, and made back the £5 million pound cost in a year.
Sir Clive Sinclair retained the company, and renamed it Cambridge, going on to produce the successful Z88 portable computer.
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