|★ PEOPLES ★ RUSSIAN AMSTRAD PC SHIPPED OUT ★|
|Russian Amstrad PC Shipped Out (New Computer Express)|
Sugar takes on socialist market with 1512 and 1640
Amstrad has designed special versions of its PC 1512 and 1640 for the Soviet Union.
The machines' keyboards have been configured with Cyrillic characters and software packages have also been put together in Russian. Amstrad is hoping to steal a lead over competitors for the lucrative Eastern bloc markets.
The firm's brand name is extremely strong in East Germany and Poland already and sales of PCW machines to those countries have traditionally been strong. Now, Russians and other Eastern Europeans are desperate to get hold of PC compatibles.
The low-cost 1512 and 1640 have been chosen because they are cheap enough for Soviet agencies to afford. However, Amstrad says it won't be shipping thousands of computers out to the Soviet Union just yet. "So far we're just shipping a few models for evaluation. We really have to look at the lines of credit. The rouble isn't a particularly strong currency and, unlike certain Western companies, we're not prepared to give lots of credit to Eastern bloc countries.”
Cautious Amstrad is to air freight computers to the Eastern bloc because of the notorious pilfering that goes on at docks - especially of desirable (and saleable) electrical equipment.
PC 1512: Russian re-birth for aged Amstrad PC clone >>
But the firm definitely sees a future in the East. At a shareholders meeting last week chairman Alan Sugar was asked if the opening up of East Europe presented golden opportunities for his company: “It's very exciting,” he said. “The trouble is getting paid."
Sugar added: “My intuitive feeling is that good times will be back. I know that we have a good business.''
New Computer Express #59 (23 December 1989)