Questions tagged [market]

Historical conditions of the computing market: price levels, offerings, sales and demand. (Questions about current market conditions are off-topic.)

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Commodore 64 software sales peak year

Sales of the Commodore 64 itself appear to have peaked (along with sales of 8-bit home computers in general) around 1984, though continued for another decade after that. I'm curious about sales of ...
rwallace's user avatar
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What were VIC-20 year-by-year sales?

From "Commodore VIC-20: Worlds First Computer to Sell 1 Million Units" I see that: Between early 1981, when the VIC actually hit store shelves, and the first few months of 1985, when the ...
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Snack shipped with computer products [closed]

I remember that there was a company in the US that packed candy or snacks as a bonus in the shipping box with their products. They were well-known for this practice. I'm pretty sure the snack was ...
Dennis Williamson's user avatar
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2 answers
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When did the 386 overtake the 286?

The Intel 80386 was released in 1985, but was initially expensive, and took a long time to fully displace the earlier 80286 from the market; subjectively, I remember significant numbers of 286 ...
rwallace's user avatar
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How did people get apps on their computer before the Internet?

The Internet has existed since the 90s, but how did people get apps and games installed on their computers before that and how were they accessed and saved?
Chadley123's user avatar
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What was the first software company to go public?

I'm trying to determine which was the first purely software company to launch an IPO on a major stock exchange. By this I mean a company whose revenue comes directly from software unit sales, rather ...
Brian H's user avatar
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What was the first personal computer store in Australia?

In the US, the personal computer revolution was kickstarted by mail order, which is the channel through which the Altair was sold. However, it did not take long for the new industry to be augmented ...
rwallace's user avatar
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Profit margin for 1980s’ computers

What was the typical profit margin of early 1980s’ microcomputer resellers in a sell to a regular customer, assuming the customer paid the suggested retail price? I'm curious about the factory prices ...
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Cost of PC vs. Amiga 500 in Europe

Based on Commodore sales figures, and other historical claims, the Amiga achieved its peak popularity in 1990-91, with European sales being the leader. By 1990, with the rapid fall in PC clone prices, ...
Brian H's user avatar
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19 votes
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Who considered multimedia capability a liability for a business computers, and why?

For technical reasons, business computers of the late '70s usually had little multimedia capability. There have been modern claims (e.g., in the comments on this video) that such capability was ...
rwallace's user avatar
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ISVs in the mainframe and minicomputer eras

In the eighties, there was a vast flowering of small independent software companies. Business and productivity software for the IBM PC, all manner of novelties for the Macintosh, games for the ...
rwallace's user avatar
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Why did the Apple IIc perform badly in the market?

The Apple IIc was a compact version of the Apple II that eschewed internal expansion slots in favor of having the popular expansion options already built in, and saving cost and weight. Apple expected ...
rwallace's user avatar
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How many units did TI Invaders sell?

I'm trying to get a feel for the scale and dynamics of the early home computer game industry. Statistics for arcade games and console cartridges are relatively easy to come by, e.g. that Pac-Man on ...
rwallace's user avatar
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17 votes
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Why was the 6809 so expensive?

The 6809 was released in 1978, but looking at the usual source for price quotes for old computer components, Byte magazine, I cannot find any quotes for 1979. December 1980 lists it at $38, compared ...
rwallace's user avatar
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Hard disks in 1977

Suppose you wanted to take one of the 1977 trinity (Apple II, Commodore PET, TRS-80) and attach it to a hard disk at that time - in 1977. Of course this wouldn't be easy. Not only was there no ...
rwallace's user avatar
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When did schools stop caring about form factor?

It has been mentioned in a few places, that in the 8-bit era, schools preferred computers with a bulky all-in-one form factor, in the hope of reducing damage and theft, to the point where they ...
rwallace's user avatar
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37 votes
7 answers
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How did Apple fail to tap the business and scientific markets?

Currently reading an excellent book called Blue Magic: The People, Power and Politics Behind the IBM Personal Computer, which is just what it says on the tin; highly recommended to anyone who wants to ...
rwallace's user avatar
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ST-506 price: wholesale or retail?

The ST-506 was an early personal computer hard disk, introduced in 1980 with a capacity of 5 megabytes and a price of $1500. While several sources confirm the price, I haven't been able to find ...
rwallace's user avatar
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16 votes
6 answers
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Reason for popularity of Apple IIGS

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_IIGS the Apple IIGS, in its year of introduction, outsold the Macintosh, without being substantially cheaper than it. This is somewhat counterintuitive:...
rwallace's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
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Cost differential between 2 and 4 MHz RAM chips in 1982

The most common speed of the 6502 was 1 MHz, allowing the use of 2 MHz RAM chips (half the bandwidth went to the video chip to refresh the screen). In 1982, the BBC Micro shipped, with double speeds ...
rwallace's user avatar
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21 votes
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Was Amiga the last of the home retrocomputers sold?

The Commodore-Amiga was offered for sale to home users from 1985 (original A1000 in North America) until 1996, when Escom stopped selling the A1200. By 1996, Apple was selling PowerPC-based Macs for ...
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24 votes
4 answers
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Which (micro) computers were dominant in Australia and New Zealand in the 1980s?

Australia and New Zealand are somewhat unique among large, developed, economies because they bridge the culture of (mostly) the West with the geography of the East. I am curious how this may have ...
Brian H's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
625 views

Selling computers via dealers and the mass market

As discussed in Origin of dealer networks, the two main ways to sell computers are, and particularly were in the old days, Three digit price tag sold to individuals => mass market, department stores ...
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