Ruminations on the electronics industry from David Manners, Senior Components Editor on Electronics Weekly.
The Early Bird Catches The Worm
In 1964, Sony showed a transistorised electronic calculator at the New York World’s Fair.
In 1967, Sony marketed the device under the name Sobax – a mangled derivation from ‘solid-state abacus’.
The electronic calculator market became particularly brutal as loads of companies jumped in, transistor prices bombed and margins turned negative.
Akio Morita pulled Sony out of the electronic calculator business.
Later he regretted it.
‘Had we stayed with calculators we might have developed early expertise in digital technology for use in later personal computers,” said Morita.