17 Facts About Sinclair Research


Sinclair Research Ltd is a British consumer electronics company founded by Clive Sinclair in Cambridge.

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In 1980, Clive Sinclair entered the home computer market with the ZX80 at £99.

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Sinclair Research Ltd continued to exist as a one-man company, marketing Clive Sinclair's inventions until his death in September 2021.

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Sinclair Research developed hi-fi products, radios, calculators and scientific instruments.

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When it became clear that Radionics was failing, Sinclair Research took steps to ensure that he would be able to continue to pursue his commercial goals.

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Sinclair Research QL was announced on 12 January 1984, shortly before the Apple Macintosh went on sale.

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Sinclair Research had long had an interest in electric vehicles, and during the early 1980s he worked on the design of a single-seater "personal vehicle", eventually starting a company called Sinclair Research Vehicles Ltd in March 1983.

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Sinclair Research launched the Sinclair C5 electric vehicle on 10 January 1985, but it was a commercial disaster, selling only 17,000 units and losing Sinclair £7,000,000.

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Sinclair Research had reportedly intended a public offering of shares on 12 March 1985, but this offering was postponed, ostensibly due to turmoil in the microcomputer industry, with Acorn Computers undergoing refinancing, and other companies such as Sinclair's competitor Oric and distributor Prism entering receivership.

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On 28 May 1985, Sinclair Research had announced it wanted to raise an extra £10m to £15m to restructure the organisation.

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Future of Sinclair Research remained uncertain until 7 April 1986, when the company sold its entire computer product range, and the "Sinclair" brand name, to Amstrad for £5 million.

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Investors became worried that Clive Sinclair Research himself was using his own personal wealth to fund his inventions.

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In 1999 Sinclair Research released the world's smallest radio, in the form of the "Z1 Micro AM Radio".

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In November 2010, Sinclair Research announced the X-1 two-wheel electric vehicle, which failed to reach production.

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Sinclair Research created various peripherals for its computers, including memory expansion modules, the ZX Printer, and the ZX Interface 1 and ZX Interface 2 add-ons for the ZX Spectrum.

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Rather than an optional floppy disk drive, Sinclair Research instead opted to offer its own mass storage system, the ZX Microdrive, a tape-loop cartridge system that proved unreliable.

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In November 2010 Sinclair Research told The Guardian newspaper that he was working on a new prototype electric vehicle, called the X-1, to be launched within a year.

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