An interesting phenomenon developed in response to our recent editorial critical of sluggish sales of the Commodore Amiga where we attributed this weakness to Commodore's targeting and marketing of the computers. Some readers wrote in to complain that we were being overly supportive of the ST; some wrote to complain that we were attacking the Amiga. We meant to do neither, and want to clarify those points.
We feel, quite strongly, that the Amiga from Commodore is one of the most technologically advanced personal computers available on the marketplace today. We feel equally strongly, given the features and design of the computer, that it should be a great success. The fact that it has not yet shown significant sales relative to, say, the Atari ST, indicates to us that the weakness in the marketing of the Amiga must derive from something other than the qualities the computer itself has to offer the buying public. Perhaps it's the targeting of the machine—perhaps the lack of aggressiveness with which it is being marketed.
None of this concern over the lessened acceleration of Amiga sales compared to those of the Atari ST reflects a lack of respect for the computer. As with the Atari ST, COMPUTE! Publications has been the industry leader in providing, for example, new book titles pertinent to the Amiga. Not only do we want the computer to succeed; we also want it to do quite well. And we share your disappointment that it has been a relatively slow starter.
Some of you have indicated in your letters that you are under the impression that the Amiga is outselling the Atari ST. This is simply not consistent with the information we've seen and heard over the months since the introduction of the two machines. Again, we are not responsible for the fact that the ST is outselling the Amiga. On the other hand, sales of the Amiga are beginning to show increases. As Nigel Shepherd pointed out in a recent GAZETTE interview, sales figures to date have been comparing an installed base of worldwide STs to an installed base of Amigas in the United States. This is a function of Atari's expansion into international markets ahead of Commodore. Commodore, as of late summer, is now marketing the Amiga in Europe, a market that should prove very strong indeed. And Commodore experts to be delivering approximately 10,000 units per month.
We wish success for both Commodore and Atari. To wish otherwise would be to suggest that we have a desire to self-limit our audience. Do not misunderstand our push for stronger, broader marketing efforts on behalf of the Amiga. We remain committed to the support of the machine. Every issue of COMPUTE! continues to provide useful applications. And our COMPUTE! Books division continues to provide timely new titles dedicated to the Amiga. For your part, you can keep those articles and programs coming. Until next issue, enjoy your COMPUTE!.
Robert C. Lock
Editor in Chief