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Amstrad is a British electronics company founded in 1968 by Alan Sugar. The name is a contraction of Alan Michael Sugar Trading. It was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1980.

During the late 1980s, Amstrad had a substantial share of the PC market in the UK. As of 2006, Amstrad's main business is manufacturing Sky Digital interactive boxes. Amstrad was once a FTSE 100 Index constituent but is now wholly owned by BSkyB.

The company is based in Brentwood, Essex.



1960s and 1970s

Amstrad was founded in 1968 by Alan Sugar. Amstrad entered the market in the field of consumer electronics. During the 1970s they were at the forefront of low-priced hi-fi, TV and car stereo cassette technologies. Lower prices were achieved by injection moulding plastic hi-fi turntable covers, undercutting competitors who used the vacuum forming process. Amstrad expanded to the production of audio amplifiers and tuners.


In 1980, Amstrad went public trading on the London Stock Exchange, and doubled in size each year during the early '80s. Amstrad began marketing their own home computers in an attempt to capture the market from Commodore and Sinclair, with the Amstrad CPC range in 1984. The CPC 464 was launched in the UK, France, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Spain and Italy. It was followed by the CPC 664 and CPC 6128 models. Later "Plus" variants of the 464 and 6128, launched in 1990, increased their functionality slightly.

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