Contents | < Browse | Browse >
REPORT ON ESCOM'S MAY 30th FRANKFURT PRESS CONFERENCE
By: Angela Schmidt firstname.lastname@example.org
Translated by: Giorgio Gomelsky email@example.com
Thanks to Baffy and Fionn for proofreading/German-checking
[Faced with a $1,600 plane fare, I was unable to attend Escom's press
conference. It was much cheaper to send Angela Schmidt instead, and she
brought back the most important points of the presentation. -Jason]
Escom has founded a division called Amiga Technologies GmbH. Escom
considers the patents and rights they obtained from Commodore to be their
keys in the multi-media market.
The Amiga line will be continued under the name "Amiga" and distributed
worldwide. Escom will use the "Commodore" label for Intel-based
multi-media-PCs which will be distributed in Europe only.
They did a market study in Germany and found that 93% of all PC users knew
the name Commodore-literally, only the name IBM is better known here.
As of August, there will be Pentium PCs with the name "Commodore", and
Escom plans to sell between 50,000 and 60,000 before the end of the year.
One month later, the Amiga 4000T should be produced in appreciable numbers.
In the past, less than 1,000 were produced. They are planning to sell
around 25,000 by the end of the year, 10,000 in the United States.
The new 4000T will also have a new design. They are making big efforts so
as to have a new design from the very beginning. It has been mentioned
that the new A4000T will have a SCSI connection that was missing from the
4000s. This was considered to be a major disadvantage in the original
A month after that (October), it is planned to make the A1200 available
again. They are estimating that between 120,000 and 150,000 will be sold
by the end of the year. They will try not to miss Christmas sales by all
With the CD32, several problems have shown up: It is not easy to get hold
of all necessary components needed for the production of the CD32. There
seem to be problems in supplying those parts. For this reason there wont
be CD32's until next year.
Until then, the CD32 will get a far more attractive design, to compete with
the game consoles. Eventually, in the future, there will also be slightly
altered CD32s for set-top boxes.
It is possible that next year there will also be an A1300, based on a
68EC030, which would also have a CD-ROM drive as a standard feature.
Also, the first of the Amiga Technologies-based set-top boxes may be built
immediately. Escom has licensed Viscorp to build such a unit. In this
area of licensing, they will be open to other possibilities.
With regards to the future, they are considering building a RISC-chip based
Amiga. PowerPC and the HP-PA RISC chip are being considered, but no
decision has been made yet.
At any rate, there shall be an Amiga operating system for this RISC-based
system, because AmigaOS simply belongs to the Amiga. The porting of
AmigaOS to non-Amiga platforms is also being talked about. This would
bring the Amiga closer to the mainstream.
With regards to the use of AAA, no decision has been made.
Jeff Frank, Engineering Director of Amiga Technologies, has announced an
expansion of the A4000T, one based on the 68060 turbo card which is will
likely be very similar to the CyberStorm 060 card, since there seem to be
licensing agreements with Phase5.
An expansion of the A1200 to an 68EC030 may also be considered.
The new Amigas will be bundled with a product from Scala (MM 300). Whether
a good word processor and paint program would have been preferable is open
Amiga Technologies plans a turnover of 100,000,000 DM in 1995, which mainly
is to be achieved by Christmas business. At the moment, the monthly
expenditure is in the region of 600,000 DM. But the intention is to get
into the black by the end of the year, and by spring of '96, the $10
million cost of acquisition should also be covered.
The central distribution will be in Holland. There will be different
methods of distribution-for instance, through wholesalers, store chains,
and mail order houses. The Amigas will additionally be distributed through
Commodore will offer sales- and marketing support to their resellers.
Furthermore, there will be a program in Europe for the training of
distributors. The customer support should also be considerably improved.
It has been mentioned several times that ESCOM received an overwhelming
amount of faxes and letters, most of which had to remain unanswered.
Many have sent them their wishes for the future. There were also
expressions of concern from the users about the Amiga being taken over by a
Amiga Technologies would also like to be directly on the Internet very
soon. For this purpose, there will be an Amiga connected to the net.