Acorn squeezed out of personal computer market
Friday 18 September 1998
The Cambridge-based company has scrapped the development of its new Risc 2 computer, effectively allowing the Acorn brand of PCs to wither and die. A third of its 175-strong workforce will be made redundant as a result.
Acorn said it would continue to supply and support its existing product range, which includes thousands of PCs in school classrooms around the country. However, experts said the company's decision not to develop new machines meant the brand would eventually disappear.
The move is part of a restructuring that will see Acorn concentrate on supplying products for the fast-expanding digital television market.
Stan Boland, Acorn's chief executive, said: "Today's announcement marks a watershed in Acorn's history.
"The projected return on the Risc 2 project was pretty marginal and we would have had to invest more to get it. Given that we have a limited number of investment dollars we decided to focus on digital television."
Mr Boland said that 75 per cent of homes would have digital set-top box decoders or television sets by 2006. In order to handle interactive applications such as home shopping and banking, those boxes would require massive computing power.
Acorn plans to develop powerful, efficient processors for set-top boxes by linking up with semiconductor manufacturers and consumer electronics companies.
The group is spending pounds 1m on making 60 of its non-engineering staff redundant and writing off surplus stock. A further 15 employees will be transferred to Xemplar, Acorn's joint venture with US computer maker Apple.
The move leaves Acorn with a workforce of around 100.
Mr Boland said the company was still working on ways to return its stake in ARM, the computer chip design company that was floated on the London and Nasdaq exchanges earlier this year, to shareholders without incurring a huge tax bill. Acorn hopes to put proposals to shareholders before year- end.
- 1 Lord Sewel quits: Peer 'boasts of having sex with BBC presenter and seeing 13 mistresses'
- 2 Topshop pulls 'ridiculously skinny' mannequins after being shamed by customer on Facebook
- 3 Five-year-old boy forced classmate to simulate oral sex at primary school, claims mother
- 4 Black and ethnic minority people twice as likely to be hit by Tory cuts than white people, report finds
- 5 Polish court orders bank to repay drugged man after he spends £23,400 in lap dance bar
Mystery over deaths of 3,000 Napoleonic soldiers in mass grave has been solved
Boris Johnson apologises after giving his wife a 'backie' on his bike on the streets of London
Black and ethnic minority people twice as likely to be hit by Tory cuts than white people, report finds
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
Denmark bans kosher and halal slaughter as minister says ‘animal rights come before religion’
The 9 charts that show the 'left-wing' policies of Jeremy Corbyn the public actually agrees with
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
The last thing Labour needs is a leader like Jeremy Corbyn who people want to vote for
What the Labour party could look like under Jeremy Corbyn
I am the Jeremy Corbyn supporter that many will tell you doesn't exist
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
iJobs Money & Business
£22500 - £24500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Inbound and outbound calls with...
£18000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Insurance Bro...
£40 - 45k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Research Associate / Research Anal...
£90000 - £98000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A truly exciting opportu...