Magazine article Marketing

Apples, Apricots and the PC Man

Magazine article Marketing

Apples, Apricots and the PC Man

Article excerpt

Apples, Apricots and the PC man

The first things that attracted John Leftwich to marketing were the smart suits and the long lunches.

But his vocation as a marketer of computers really took off when he joined ACT in 1982. From then on, Leftwich says, it was a "fast track to the top".

Four months as a publicity officer led to him being appointed as marketer-in-chief behind the launch of the Apricot PC.

He looks back to those halycon days with more than a touch of nostalgia. "It was a phenomenally exciting time," he says. Sales doubled every year for three consecutive years. But the good fortune was not to last.

In 1984 he and his team made an abortive attempt to tackle the US market, "but it came to nothing".

And the following year, he says, the company reluctantly conceded to making Apricot IBM-compatible, "nine months too late".

"It was the most challenging period of my career," he says. "We were in a situation where we had to kid the market that we were still committed to our non-compatible system, while making plans for the IBM compatible replacement. …

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