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Apricot: The High-Tech fruit. A Trademark Since 1965

« A computer revolution of enormous magnitude is about to take place. Because Europe’s most successful business computer company is now doing business in America…

So, if you still think that Apple is a better business computer, look at it from a different perspective. »


This was the provoking teaser that appeared in a 1985 newspaper advert for Apricot Computers. In 2016, this could once again become a reality thanks to the amazing qualities of the Apricot legacy: Innovation & Beauty with a global presence.

Beauty & Innovation worldwide

Apricot, an innovative maverick :

Who was the first to launch a speech recognition system for PCs… way back in 1984? Who introduced the first 3.5’’ floppy disk drive, the infrared trackball, the keyboard with programmable function keys along with a built-in LCD screen ?

Apricot, a brand with design in its DNA :

Who decided to provide stylish designs and high resolution screens (800×400 in 1983), under the framework of a fully integrated concept, leading to the production of one of the world’s most secure x86-based PCs in the early 90s in Scotland? Who launched a truly portable computer in 1984 ?

Obviously, Apricot :

Who owned up to 30% of the market share in the UK, extended its sales in the USA and was ahead of IBM in the mid-80s in Europe? Which brand is currently present in five continents, allowing a safe and widespread use in almost all IT fields ?

The answer to all the above is Apricot, a brand apart, a brand with smart designs and a long history of technical innovation.
Here is its awe-inspiring story…

1965: The ACT seed

ACT, « Applied Computer Techniques » is founded in the UK as a “computer bureau”. Its main activity is to rent working time of its own computers to other companies.

1982: the hardware take-off

In Europe, ACT commercialises the Sirius I, based on a microcomputer sold by the US firm Victor. 16-bit, 128k of memory, 2 twin high-capacity floppy disk drives, and an outstanding 800×400 resolution screen.

With « the largest software library, by far, of any similar computer of the day » the Sirius is a huge and instant hit in Europe.

1983: born to be Apricot

The ACT Apricot is released. It comes with an amazing 800×400 resolution screen, a 3.5” floppy disk-drive (the first one available outside of Japan), and a range of other features that aren’t even found in machines costing twice its price.

To top it all off, it also has a remarkably stylish design. This PC is manufactured in the new factory of Glenrothes, Scotland, thanks to inspired engineers like M. Peter Horne.

1984: Apricot everywhere

Apricot F1 is destined for the home computer market, Apricot PC Xi is for corporate usage, and the Apricot Fle is geared towards the education market.

ACT provides PCs that are more powerful and more economical than their competitors; a winning combination that leads to tremendous success.

1984: An Apricot in your pocket… almost

The revolutionary Apricot Portable: the first computer in the world to use the new generation of 80-column, 25-line displays with built-in speech recognition.

With its wireless keyboard and optional wireless mouse, which communicates with the computer via an infrared link, it is nothing less than revolutionary !

1985: Seeding the world

ACT renames itself « APRICOT COMPUTERS ». This is due to the success of the Apricot F1 and their desire to conquer the US market. They enjoy 30% of the UK market share and are a key European player in this new industry. They boast a 92m£ turnover and a 10.6m£ profit.
Massive advertising campaigns are launched all over Europe and in the USA. A star is born.

1986: like IBM… but smarter

The XEN-I machine is introduced. It provides more power, and a larger number of features and facilities within a system that is smaller as well as cheaper than the IBM AT. The XEN is the first APRICOT that is100% compatible with an IBM PC.

It doesn’t use Windows 1.0 as its operating system but GEM, designed by Digital Research. Apricot is now truly synonymous with business computers.

1989: burning priorities

Release of the APRICOT VX. The first PC in the world with an intel 486 chip, burning priority to anyone else!