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Total number of A8 units sold worldwide = ?


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#1 oky2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:10 AM

Is there a reliable source for worldwide sales of A8 machines sold from 1979 to last machine produced (XE range etc)?

Is there a breakdown of this info down to models etc too so you can see how many Atari 400 units were sold and 800XL etc?

#2 Heaven/TQA OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:28 AM

somewhere here in the forum attic there should be the info or Curt could have the answer.

#3 Philsan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:55 AM

I asked a similar question in this thread:
http://www.atariage....onal-computers/

My not final conclusions were:

1. C64 (30 17 millions)
2. Apple II models (5 millions units sold according to Gamplan's Encyclopedia of Game Machine, a very long life also in the 16-bit era)
3. Spectrum models (5 millions according to Encyclopedia, strong in Europe, weak in USA)
4. Atari 400/800/XL/XE (2 millions in the USA + rest of the world, so not less than 2.5 millions, leader of the market 1979-1982, long life till 1991)
5. TI 99-4/A (2.5 millions according to Encyclopedia, a strong seller in the first years)
6. Amstrad CPC (2.5 millions according to Encyclopedia)
7. Vic-20 (2 millions according to Encyclopedia)
8. Tandy TRS-80 (1.5 million according to Jeremy Reiner)
9. Acorn BBC A/B(1 million according to Encyclopedia)

I didn't know where to put MSX standard computers (many manufacturers, strong in Japan, they arrived later on the market, but in this period the total number of computer sold in the world was higher than in the first years).

Spectrums 5 millions seem a bit exaggerated.

Atari Frog (www.atarimania.com) wrote:

I can't see the Atari 8-bit line at just 2.5 or just 3 million units sold, it doesn't make sense.

Here are my very rough estimates, no idea how realistic these numbers are...

USA: 2,500,000
Canada: 300,000
Mexico: 100,000
Chile: 200,000
Germany (West and East): 500,000
UK: 350,000
Benelux: 150,000
France: 80,000
Western Europe (rest): 50,000
Poland: 200,000
Eastern Europe (rest): 200,000
Australia / New Zealand: 50,000
Rest: 100,000

Interesting but not conclusive links:
http://jeremyreimer....ostman/node/329
http://www.time.com/...,950786,00.html

Edited by Philsan, Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:24 AM.


#4 oky2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:32 AM

I asked a similar question in this thread:
http://www.atariage....onal-computers/

My not final conclusions were:

1. C64 (30 millions)
2. Apple II models (5 millions units sold according to Gamplan'sEncyclopedia of Game Machine, a very long life also in the 16-bit era)
3. Spectrum models (5 millions according to Encyclopedia, strong in Europe, weak in USA)
4. Atari 400/800/XL/XE (2 millions in the USA + rest of the world, so not less then 2.5 millions, leader of the market 1979-1982, long life till 1991)
5. TI 99-4/A (2.5 millions according to Encyclopedia, a strong seller in the first period)
6. Amstrad CPC (2.5 millions according to Encyclopedia)
7. Vic-20 (2 millions according to Encyclopedia)
8. Tandy TRS-80 (1 million according to Encyclopedia)
9. Acorn BBC A/B(1 million according to Encyclopedia)

I didn't know where to put MSX standard computers (many manufacturers, strong in Japan, they arrived later on the market, but in this period the total number of computer sold in the world was higher then in the first years).

Spectrums 5 millions seem a bit exaggerated.

Atari Frog (www.atarimania.com) wrote:

I can't see the Atari 8-bit line at just 2.5 or just 3 million units sold, it doesn't make sense.

Here are my very rough estimates, no idea how realistic these numbers are...

USA: 2,500,000
Canada: 300,000
Mexico: 100,000
Chile: 200,000
Germany (West and East): 500,000
UK: 350,000
Benelux: 150,000
France: 80,000
Western Europe (rest): 50,000
Poland: 200,000
Eastern Europe (rest): 200,000
Australia / New Zealand: 50,000
Rest: 100,000

Interesting but not conclusive links:
http://jeremyreimer....ostman/node/329
http://www.time.com/...,950786,00.html


It's not 30 million for C64, in 1992 I had a stock shareholders report copy sent to me for a business project and it actually states 17.??? million so the 17-18million quote is correct.

How did you come up with those figures for the various countries for A8 sales then?

#5 high voltage OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:36 AM

Even 17 - 18 mill for C64 is somehow exaggerated, it obviously meant units produced or shipped to stores, if sold that is another story.

With ZX Spectrum 5 mill is exaggerated, they (ZX fanboys) tell themselves clones of ZX were a huge seller in the former Eastern Bloc, without actually having some sort of figures. The ZX brigade believes Sid Meier started his career on ZX Spectrum and he wrote Silent Service for the ZX.
Even their 20.000 games is exaggerated (nearer 7000 - 8000), but there you go....Wiki believes all.

Thing is, ZX Spectrum was UKs top selling 8-bit computer (82 - 89, source CVG) with C64 coming second (83 - 91), so how little C64s were sold in the UK during that time?
And then 30 mill C64s worldwide? No way, not even 17 mill.

C64 was top selling 8-bit in Germany (84 - 89, source: Happy Computer, ASM), and in the US too but only for a very short time (84 -87, source: CGW), but to get to 17 mill that would really take some selling.

Anyway, bottom line, as stated in the book Game Over, Nintendo totally exaggerated NES sales figures, obviously all other computer companies did the same with their wares (as it was done for years in the music record industry).

Edited by high voltage, Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:10 AM.


#6 Philsan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:42 AM

It's not 30 million for C64, in 1992 I had a stock shareholders report copy sent to me for a business project and it actually states 17.??? million so the 17-18million quote is correct.

How did you come up with those figures for the various countries for A8 sales then?


I like objective facts! Post corrected.

Atari Frog are rough estimates; I don't know how he came up with those figures.

#7 Rybags OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:43 AM

Somewhere in the 2.25 - 3 million sounds reasonable to me.

TI99/4A figures a bit surprising, I'd have thought somewhat less.

C64, the 18-25 million range sounds right, I got doubts about 30 million. I think 30 million was more along the lines of the total 2600 sales.

#8 ProWizard OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:40 AM

Most of the Atari XL/XE computers sold in the Netherlands found their way to my attic :D

#9 akator OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:57 AM

TI99/4A figures a bit surprising, I'd have thought somewhat less.


I think so as well, but I have no way to prove it.

VIC-20 sounds low, considering it was the first computer model to break 1 million in sales. How is it the TI-99 beat the VIC in raw numbers?

TRS-80 also sounds low, I would suspect at least 2 million sold because until the VIC-20, the TRS-80s were the top selling computer line.

#10 Philsan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:17 AM

TRS-80 also sounds low, I would suspect at least 2 million sold because until the VIC-20, the TRS-80s were the top selling computer line.

In fact, according to Jeremy Reiner, TRS80 sales are at least 1.5 millions.
Post edited.

#11 Rybags OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:31 AM

TRS-80 did have numerous clones though, so the user base would have been large but with significant non-genuine articles.

Vic-20 is a strange one. It did real well initially, maybe the punters just realised that it was really a bit of a dud and it rapidly trailed off before being axed.

Then again, the Apple 2 was a relatively poor computer and lived years beyond it's usefullness.

#12 CharlieChaplin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:17 AM

Well,

I read in a Happy Computer Sondermagazin (nr. 1 or 2) that Atari sold 100,000 A8 units in Germany in one year and they were surprised themselves that this happened. Anyway, this was around 1987 or 1988 in West-Germany, so I think 500,000 units for both west and east Germany (and the A8 selling from 1982 to 1991 in Germany) could be pretty close. I also remember that there was a big renaissance for the A8 in the 90`s shortly after Germany was re-united because a lot of computer users in east Germany did have an Atari 8Bit. Lots of german A8 titles by KE-Soft, Power per Post and other vendors were produced in the 90s because of that A8 renaissance...

Apple computers were however much too expensive for private use, in my region (a small region, known as Kreis Alzey-Worms, part of Rheinland-Pfalz) they were common -from the early until the mid 80s- in schools, especially high-schools (my highschool had two or three computer rooms, completely filled with Apple II c/d/e computers), universities (Mainz for example) and in some firms (my uncle for example had 5-8 Apple II c/d/e computers in his firm). But while I knew dozens of folks who had C64, A8 or other computers at home, I did not know anyone having an Apple computer at home - the price for an A8 in 1984/1985 was approx. 300-400 german marks, whereas an Apple computer sold for 2000-4500 german marks at the same time (five to ten times the price of an Atari), so almost no-one could afford it for private use...

From the mid-80s to late 80s my highschool exchanged the Apple II c/d/e computers with Atari ST computers (which were later exchanged with various PC`s), while my uncle directly exchanged Apple II c/d/e computers with PC`s...
- Andreas Koch.

#13 svenski OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:59 AM

I'd agree with Andreas about the 8-bit sales for Germany and then (post collapse of communism) Eastern Europe. As for the Vic-20, that did sell well, and it was still stubbornly selling quite well after the price had dropped right up to Commodore killed it off.

Edited by svenski, Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:00 PM.


#14 jacobus OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 18, 2011 2:26 PM

Here are my very rough estimates, no idea how realistic these numbers are...

USA: 2,500,000
Canada: 300,000
Mexico: 100,000
Chile: 200,000
Germany (West and East): 500,000
UK: 350,000
Benelux: 150,000
France: 80,000
Western Europe (rest): 50,000
Poland: 200,000
Eastern Europe (rest): 200,000
Australia / New Zealand: 50,000
Rest: 100,000

[/i]Interesting but not conclusive links:
http://jeremyreimer....ostman/node/329
http://www.time.com/...,950786,00.html




As a addition to the original question, does anyone have an estimate as to how many units still exist in the world? I would guess somewhere between 5 and 10 percent of the total, although I don't think the breakdown would be spread evenly across the various selling regions...

#15 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:30 PM

The TRS-80 sales figures from Jeremy were NOT for the CoCo. The Model I/III/IV probably totaled over 1.5 million.
Tandy repeatedly said the CoCo was their top seller but never released sales figures for it.
The CoCo sold longer than the Model I/III/IV and at a lower price so you can pretty much count on the CoCo sales being much higher than 1.5 million.

<edit>
I don't doubt that the TI sold 2.5 million. It sold well early on and was deeply discounted towards the end of it's life.

As for 5 million Spectrums, the question is... is that with or without clones?
Speccy fans seem to want to include clones in the conversations I've been in.
If you are going to count clones you need to do it for all other machines as well.
There was a web page dedicated to Apple II clones at one time. It listed over 100 different clones. Apple sales worldwide would jump if you count the clones. Apple clones were all over Asia according to people that traveled there.
The TRS-80 Model I/III/IV had many clones as did the CoCo.
The TI, Atari, and C64 had none that I'm aware of.

Edited by JamesD, Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:54 PM.


#16 oky2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:27 AM

Even 17 - 18 mill for C64 is somehow exaggerated, it obviously meant units produced or shipped to stores, if sold that is another story.

With ZX Spectrum 5 mill is exaggerated, they (ZX fanboys) tell themselves clones of ZX were a huge seller in the former Eastern Bloc, without actually having some sort of figures. The ZX brigade believes Sid Meier started his career on ZX Spectrum and he wrote Silent Service for the ZX.
Even their 20.000 games is exaggerated (nearer 7000 - 8000), but there you go....Wiki believes all.

Thing is, ZX Spectrum was UKs top selling 8-bit computer (82 - 89, source CVG) with C64 coming second (83 - 91), so how little C64s were sold in the UK during that time?
And then 30 mill C64s worldwide? No way, not even 17 mill.

C64 was top selling 8-bit in Germany (84 - 89, source: Happy Computer, ASM), and in the US too but only for a very short time (84 -87, source: CGW), but to get to 17 mill that would really take some selling.

Anyway, bottom line, as stated in the book Game Over, Nintendo totally exaggerated NES sales figures, obviously all other computer companies did the same with their wares (as it was done for years in the music record industry).


It was a factual document, and may even have been sent in 1993 (sure a CD32 was on the cover) but the figures were up to 1992. I think it pegged Amiga sales around 10 million or so and if you add two more years you get the 11-12 million total sold.

Another interesting fact I picked up was from the two designers of the C128 who stated 4.5 million units were shipped, now these eventually were all sold even if 500,000 of them were off loaded in going out business sale prices which kind of shocked me actually.

If I find the documents in the loft again I will scan them but that's probably not of much interest here.

Anyway the ZX spectrum sold a hell of a lot from launch to mid 80s then died a death, the rest is all hype by fanboys. I think it was down to the games available, not many other systems other than Atari A8 or ZX or C64 had huge numbers of back catalogue games to show worldwide, and until the C64 came down from £325 + £40 datasette to £225 with datasette in the UK sales were below the Spectrum as it was half the price and most games looked like speccy ports. 5-6 million is probably accurate as other countries generally weren't really interested in such a compromised machine and would pay a bit more for joystick ports and sound (maybe Spain when Amstrad bought Sinclair computers). Clones in a closed communist countries where C64/A8 were not allowed to be sold are obviously excluded :)

#17 UNIXcoffee928 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:02 AM

...<edit>
I don't doubt that the TI sold 2.5 million. It sold well early on and was deeply discounted towards the end of it's life.
...


Ha, that's an understatement... I remember seeing an ad where you got a TI 99/4A for free with the purchase of a $39.99 Area Rug. I'm totally serious! It struck me as rather surreal at the time, ha.

#18 www.atarimania.com OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:30 AM

Seeing the TRS-80 that low sounds pretty suspicious. Not only was it a huge seller in the early days but many small businesses and schools also had one. Check old software guides such as The Software Encyclopedia or The Software Catalog and you'll see an overwhelming amount of software listed in all categories, which should account for its popularity.

Ditto for the Apple ][ which had an even stronger presence. I don't know how many units were sold to schools but the number of educational titles is simply unbelievable. Same for business and utility software. Five millions sounds ridiculous as the computer was sold worldwide. I know there were clones but still...

OK, maybe my figures for the Atari 8-bit line are a bit inflated so let's look at things region by region and try again...

USA: 2.5 million probably a bit too much but I don't think two million would be completely over the top, especially if you count the XEGS.

Canada: considering how "computer-literate" the country was and even given the small population, at least 200,000 wouldn't seem unreasonable.

Mexico: 80,000. The 100,000 figure was probably a bit high but Atari was officially present in the country and there were software releases in Spanish as well. The XE line was also distributed.

Chile: down to 150,000 instead of 200,000 but I know for sure that the Atari 8-bit line was huge there. Lots of educational software, too, meaning that the computers were probably in a number of schools.

Rest of Central America / South America: 40,000 (?). Computers were officially sold in Peru, Colombia, Venezuela and Argentina (through Skydata) at least.

Germany (including former East Germany): probably a bit optimistic on the 500,000 figure but 400,000 with East German sales doesn't sound unrealistic. Atari Germany always had a high ptofile.

UK / Ireland: let's say 300,000 instead of 350,000. Sales began in 1981 through Ingersoll and Atari UK did try to push the system, though with mixed success.

Benelux: 100,000. 150,000 a bit high given the total population but, IIRC, Atari had its European base in the Netherlands, there were a number of Dutch software releases (notably exclusive imports from Aackosoft) and I believe the 800XL was also the official school computer at one time.

France: Elie Kenan said overall sales were 50,000-60,000 units by 1985. Add figures for the 130XE and XEGS and you get 80,000. The Atari was never hugely successful in France so I believe you could consider the figure as some sort of benchmark for other countries where the line sold more... or less.

Western Europe (rest): 100,000. Had this at 50,000 which, I think, was too low. There's Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Greece and the Scandinavian countries where the computers sold poorly so probably not more than 30,000 combined. Then you have Austria, Italy and Turkey. Based on units sold in France and Atari's presence in Italy, 70,000 sounds about right.

Poland: 200,000 too high or not high enough?

Eastern Europe (rest): 150,000 instead of 200,000. Includes former Czechoslavakia, Yugoslavia, Hungary and USSR (thanks Jack Tramiel!). Was the 8-bit line sold in other countries such as Bulgaria or Romania?

Australia / New Zealand: 50,000. Probably not higher, maybe Rybags knows more...

Rest of the world: now at 50,000 instead of 100,000. Computers officially sold in Hong Kong and Singapore in Asia, any others? Japan? India? Indonesia? Korea? Taiwan? Would also include sales in Africa (Egypt?), Arabic countries and Israel.

That would give a total of about four million units. Thoughts?

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#19 akator OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:04 AM

Seeing the TRS-80 that low sounds pretty suspicious. Not only was it a huge seller in the early days but many small businesses and schools also had one. Check old software guides such as The Software Encyclopedia or The Software Catalog and you'll see an overwhelming amount of software listed in all categories, which should account for its popularity.

Ditto for the Apple ][ which had an even stronger presence. I don't know how many units were sold to schools but the number of educational titles is simply unbelievable. Same for business and utility software. Five millions sounds ridiculous as the computer was sold worldwide. I know there were clones but still...


I agree with both of these statements.

Before the PC, the original TRS-80 line was extremely popular Even without counting CoCo sales (which I think should be counted separately, anyway) it's hard to believe that the TRS-80s sold less than the TI-99.

Even with Apple's long history of exaggerating sales for marketing purposes, I don't think the company would have survived if they only sold 5M Apple IIs from 1977-1993. It also doesn't make sense that the Apple II line would have had such massive software support if only 5M had been sold in 16 years.

OK, maybe my figures for the Atari 8-bit line are a bit inflated so let's look at things region by region and try again...
...

That would give a total of about four million units. Thoughts?


It sounds possible. We're talking about combined sales for 400, 800, XL, XE, and XEGS from November 1979 to December 1991. Selling 4M over 11 years isn't an unreasonable figure.

#20 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:38 AM

At this point I'm going to step in and say we will never know how many Atari 8 bits sold and this discussion is pretty much speculation.

Early Atari sales were disappointing and the 400/800 only sold 2 million units total according to Jeremy Reimer's figures which were based on actual reported sales. That doesn't account for later models of coarse, but you have to be careful not to use exaggerations to the press by sales people since actual sales may be far less. I would say the Atari 8 bits sold somewhere between 3 and 5 million units and we will probably never get any more accurate than that.

I would also guess that the Tandy CoCo sold over 3 million units based on the fact that it was Tandy's top seller for most of it's life. Just selling an average of 300 thousand units / year (required to outsell the Model III/IV in early years, and Tandy PCs in later years) would be enough. But Tandy only reported profits rather than sales numbers when it came to the CoCo.

If you look at Jeremy's sales figures for the C64, it sold over 2 million (more like 2.5 million most years) units every year from 1983-1986 and it continued to sell over 1 million units / year through 1989. I know you don't like to hear it outsold the Atari 3 to 1 but it outsold almost every 8 bit by at least 3 to 1.

One thing you can pretty much tell by the numbers we do know is that machines with a long life pretty much sold over 3 million and machines with a short life sold under 3 million.

Edited by JamesD, Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:42 AM.


#21 Rybags OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:48 AM

3 to 1 sounds conservative to me, I'd say it was more.

Whatever the 400/800 sold, I'd guess that the XL/XE combined would have been somewhat more. 400/800 lifetime around 1979 - 1983, then XL/XE for almost 10 years after that.

A clue might be had if some production order paperwork for custom ICs, OS ROMs or the like could be found, but of course Atari had the habit of doing huge runs of such things and often having years worth of surplus stocks.

#22 orpheuswaking ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:06 AM

Most of the Atari XL/XE computers sold in the Netherlands found their way to my attic :D



you need to clean out your attic ;-)

#23 Philsan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:06 AM

So far I agree with all comments.

The only point completely wrong is

Early Atari sales were disappointing

(perhaps I didn't get it right).
Atari 400/800 were leader of the market in 1980-1982 (till C64 advent) so early Atari sales weren't disappointing at all.

#24 high voltage OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:19 AM

I'd say, taking exaggeration into account, the the C64 sold more like 1.5 mill between 83 - 86, especially in 83, C64 sales were just starting. I mean if they (some Jeremy guy and his ACTUAL sales figures, yeah sure) say the C64 sold 2 mill a year during that time, you can be sure it was ACTUALLY less.
And by 88 NES ruled the American way, so bye bye C64.

Edited by high voltage, Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:27 AM.


#25 www.atarimania.com OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:30 AM

Atari certainly wasn't leading the market in 1980 and 1981, you would've seen lots more software support otherwise.

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