The CPC 464 was the first personal home computer built by Amstrad in 1984. It was one of the bestselling and best produced microcomputers, with more than 2 million units sold in Europe. The British microcomputer boom had already peaked before Amstrad announced the CPC 464 (which stood for Color Personal Computer) which they then released a mere 9 months later.
Amstrad was known for cheap hi-fi products but had not broken into the home computer market until the CPC 464. Their consumer electronic sales were starting to plateau and Owner and Founder Alan Sugar stated “We needed to move on and find another sector or product to bring us back to profit growth”. Work started on the Amstrad home computer in 1983 with engineer Ivor Spital who concluded that Amstrad should enter the home computer market, offering a product that integrated low-cost hardware to be sold at an affordable “impulse-purchase price”.
Spital wanted to offer a device that would not commandeer the family TV but instead be an all-in-one computer with its own monitor, thus freeing up the TV and allowing others to play video games at the same time.