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Clint Thompson

Who actually manufactured Atari Falcon computers?

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Just a curiosity.

 

I know the Jaguar was manufactured by IBM but never did see any discussion or words on who manufactured the Falcons for Atari, does anyone know?

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2 hours ago, Clint Thompson said:

Just a curiosity.

 

I know the Jaguar was manufactured by IBM but never did see any discussion or words on who manufactured the Falcons for Atari, does anyone know?

Atari?

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Someone with a better memory can correct me if I'm wrong here, but

I think IBM produced the Jaguar for a while, then it switched to some

one else...

 

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The sticker on the bottom of the Jaguar lists it as Atari at their Sunnyvale address despite being manufactured by IBM in North Carolina. I suspect the same to be the case for a label on the Falcon, just wasn't sure if someone actually knew the actual source.

 

Atari Taiwan could mean anything. Mostly likely just being produced for Atari in Taiwan and as such requiring the label to reflect accordingly.  Did Atari even have any actual manufacturing facilities when the Falcon was released in 1992? I though everything had mostly shut down by that point outside of a distribution center in U.K. that was technically Atari U.K. with Darryl Still?

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Atari themselves manufactured the limited quantity of poorly marketed Falcon Computers.

 

However a company called C-Lab got license to produce their own near identical Falcon "MK2" computers until 1996 or 1995. 

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Atari sold their Taiwan manufacturing plant in 1991 (give or take a year...I don't remember the exact year). The Falcon was definitely not made by Atari Taiwan.

 

As a shareholder, I remember reading the quarterly report where Atari execs were telling us that they, "Made impressive profits this quarter after several quarterly losses. The future of Atari looks really bright now!" What the Atari execs conveniently glossed over was that the reason why they had a profit that quarter was due to the large cash infusion from the sale of the Taiwan plant. 🙄

 

I thought I read somewhere that Toshiba was sub-contracted to produce Atari products at one point after the sale of the Taiwan plant. (Or was that the Jaguar after IBM stopped making them? Ugh! 😦) However, I also remember reading that Atari had several sub-contractors over time due to quality control issues. Who these other sub-contractors were...I am not sure.

 

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9 hours ago, atarian1 said:

I thought I read somewhere that Toshiba was sub-contracted to produce Atari products at one point after the sale of the Taiwan plant.

The floppy disk controller for Falcon 030 codenamed "Ajax", had the number C302096 and was produced by Toshiba.

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Here's a clip from an eBay sale that just happened. The sale also has a break out of the serial number. Do a search on "Atari Falcon 030 Pilot Production Unit SN: 7" and then select the Advanced> Sold option.

Quote

This is a very rare pilot production Atari Falcon with motherboard serial number 7.  These units were produced by several different manufacturers as Atari prepared to move into full production.  As such, they used the white Atari ST keyboard rather than the more conventional dark gray.  They were typically used for demonstration and sales promotion purposes.  This unit, if the Atari Service Guide info is to be believed, was built by one of the manufacturers not selected for final production.

 

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On 8/19/2021 at 2:27 AM, atarian1 said:

Atari sold their Taiwan manufacturing plant in 1991 (give or take a year...I don't remember the exact year). The Falcon was definitely not made by Atari Taiwan.

 

As a shareholder, I remember reading the quarterly report where Atari execs were telling us that they, "Made impressive profits this quarter after several quarterly losses. The future of Atari looks really bright now!" What the Atari execs conveniently glossed over was that the reason why they had a profit that quarter was due to the large cash infusion from the sale of the Taiwan plant. 🙄

 

I thought I read somewhere that Toshiba was sub-contracted to produce Atari products at one point after the sale of the Taiwan plant. (Or was that the Jaguar after IBM stopped making them? Ugh! 😦) However, I also remember reading that Atari had several sub-contractors over time due to quality control issues. Who these other sub-contractors were...I am not sure.

 

Interesting to learn, appreciate that!

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On 8/19/2021 at 7:22 AM, calimero said:

@atarian1

nice info!

 

do you have any emails, documentation... from Atari Corp. that you received as shareholder?

All of the Atari annual reports should be available....somewhere.

 

I can remember reading some on microfiche at my (US) university library back in the early-mid 90's.

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3 minutes ago, ChrisM said:

All of the Atari annual reports should be available....somewhere.

 

I can remember reading some on microfiche at my (US) university library back in the early-mid 90's.

Not all. 
 

if I remember correctly, Atari was not in obligation to issues public reports (not sure of what kind) until some specific year so you can not find number of sold units, revenue or profits. 
 

(I did search for this info when I try to confirm numbers that  Jeremy Reimer published: https://www.google.com/amp/s/arstechnica.com/features/2005/12/total-share/%3famp=1 (sorry for google Amp link...))

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From my memory the Falcon was produced in Asia/Far East. I do remember some magazine article (ST Format?) suggesting the problems Atari had with the quality control for the Falcon were the reason IBM ended up getting the Jag contract.

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On 8/20/2021 at 8:10 AM, ChrisM said:

All of the Atari annual reports should be available....somewhere.

 

I can remember reading some on microfiche at my (US) university library back in the early-mid 90's.

 

Annual and Quarterly reports are available on Archive.org

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On 8/19/2021 at 7:27 AM, atarian1 said:

Atari sold their Taiwan manufacturing plant in 1991 (give or take a year...I don't remember the exact year). The Falcon was definitely not made by Atari Taiwan.

 

As a shareholder, I remember reading the quarterly report where Atari execs were telling us that they, "Made impressive profits this quarter after several quarterly losses. The future of Atari looks really bright now!" What the Atari execs conveniently glossed over was that the reason why they had a profit that quarter was due to the large cash infusion from the sale of the Taiwan plant. 🙄

 

I thought I read somewhere that Toshiba was sub-contracted to produce Atari products at one point after the sale of the Taiwan plant. (Or was that the Jaguar after IBM stopped making them? Ugh! 😦) However, I also remember reading that Atari had several sub-contractors over time due to quality control issues. Who these other sub-contractors were...I am not sure.

 

Ahhh now this is interesting. 

 

There were reports in the UK press, that by opting for manufacturering in the Far East, no specifics given, as it was cheaper than having them made in the USA, Atari had scored an own goal. 

 

Basically the first and second production runs had failed at Q. A testing, costing Atari 12 months and  it turned out it was the Q. A Testing equipment at fault, not the Falcons. 

 

Would this be yet another UK Press lot of false claims? 

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On 8/18/2021 at 5:42 PM, Leeroy ST said:

Atari themselves manufactured the limited quantity of poorly marketed Falcon Computers.

 

However a company called C-Lab got license to produce their own near identical Falcon "MK2" computers until 1996 or 1995. 

Pretty sure all C-Lab did was to reutilize stock. They fiddled with hand picked DAC's, noticed those replaced on 4 different C-Labs I've owned/own. 

Interesting with the MKX, if indeed they stripped Falcons out of the Atari branded cases, or just sourced a quantity of motherboards. If the first, they should of been an excess of standard Atari cases you'd think.

 

Here's a odd one for you😁

IMG_20210822_013700~2.jpg

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On 8/21/2021 at 9:34 AM, Zogging Hell said:

From my memory the Falcon was produced in Asia/Far East. I do remember some magazine article (ST Format?) suggesting the problems Atari had with the quality control for the Falcon were the reason IBM ended up getting the Jag contract.

Which of course they tried to spin as "Only console made in America!"  I'd have to check if my box says that, but I'm pretty sure it does.  But mine is a later revision (doesn't have the analog capability) as I bought mine the same time as I did the JagCD.  Does explain why they later dropped pushing that in advertising, but they made a decent deal about it being manufactured by IBM initially.

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13 hours ago, leech said:

Which of course they tried to spin as "Only console made in America!"  I'd have to check if my box says that, but I'm pretty sure it does.  But mine is a later revision (doesn't have the analog capability) as I bought mine the same time as I did the JagCD.  Does explain why they later dropped pushing that in advertising, but they made a decent deal about it being manufactured by IBM initially.

Sam Tramiel was also quick enough to spin the blame for the low number of machines available at launch onto IBM... 

 

Sam had a statement issued to the Press, talking about the unusually high failure rates of the initial production run of Jaguar machines and as a result production had been limited whilst investigations were carried out

 

 

Sam did a classic deflection move, saying Atari wasn't responsible for Quality Control (fair enough, IBM's contract included Q. A testing) and people should direct any complaints at them. 

 

 

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On 8/18/2021 at 6:07 AM, DarkLord said:

Someone with a better memory can correct me if I'm wrong here, but

I think IBM produced the Jaguar for a while, then it switched to some

one else...

 

They switched to Flextronics.

 

Former shareholder here too...

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