For many Sinclair came into public view in 1980 with the launch of the ZX80, but the company was originally founded in 1973 under the name Ablesdeal Ltd, becoming Sinclair Research Ltd in 1975.
While the ZX80 was initially sold in kit form, the ZX81 was the cheapest home computer in the market you could buy over the counter, at £99.95. It was followed in 1982 by the wildly popular ZX Spectrum, which was subsequently released with various upgrades until 1992 and selling 5 million units. In 1984 they released the Sinclair QL, trying to break into the business market, however this was a failure, selling only 150,000 units and resulting the following year in the rights of the products and brand being sold to Amstrad.
One non-computer product notable of mention is the Sinclair C5, launched in 1984. Late delivery, poor reliability and concerns over safety caused the end of production a year later, with only 17,000 units sold. Sinclair Research Ltd still exists today, marketing company founder Sir Clive Sinclair’s inventions such as the folding A-Bike and the X-1 electric vehicle.
The ZX80 was initially sold in kit form, had just 1kb of ram, no sound and displayed monochrome text - yet it captured the imagination of an entirely new fan base.
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The ZX81 was launched in 1981 for a price of £99.95 and kick-started the home computer revolution.
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An incredibly popular home computer, the ZX Spectrum was sold for ten years, spanning various hardware iterations.
Read more: ZX Spectrum
The QL, short for Quantum Leap, was the beginning of the end for Sinclair, after arriving late to market in 1984.
Read more: Sinclair QL