The Memorywriter Revolution

The Xerox Corporation of America knew how to put a spin on things and I don’t just mean the printwheel technology they acquired from Diablo. According to an article in the Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester New York, 3rd May 1987, the company’s new generation of Memorywriter office typewriters were an unmitigated success:

The reality was its previous 600 Series (610, 615, 620, 625) Memorywriters were a flop, as were the retail shops Xerox opened in an attempt to boost sales. The company’s target of a 20% share of the office typewriter market failed to materialise.

A 10% market share as of May 1987 suggests that the company’s newly released “60 Series” Memorywriters fared little better. In any event, it was too early to tell.

On the pie chart, the grouping of IBM, Xerox and Swintec is an attempt to give prominence to American companies and disregards the fact both Canon and Adler Royal enjoyed at least a 10% share of the market, or that Swintec was basically a reseller of Nakajima-made Japanese typewriters.

Add Swintec’s 10% to the “Others” slice of the pie and foreign competition enjoyed 65% of the American office electronic typewriter market. Not so much a revolution as a tailspin.

There are lies, damned lies and then there are marketing statistics.