Commodore International Corporation
Computer hardware
Computer software
Founded1976; 48 years ago (1976)
Nassau, The Bahamas
FoundersJack Tramiel and Irving Gould
DefunctMay 6, 1994; 30 years ago (1994-05-06)
FateChapter 11 bankruptcy; inventory and intellectual property acquired by Escom AG on April 22, 1995
Headquarters1200 Wilson Drive, ,
United States
Area served
Key people
ProductsCommodore PET
Commodore 64
Commodore 128
SubsidiariesAmiga Corporation
Commodore Semiconductor Group

Commodore International Corporation (other names include Commodore International Limited) was a Bahamian home computer and electronics manufacturer with executive offices in the United States founded by Jack Tramiel and Irving Gould. Commodore International (CI), along with its subsidiary Commodore Business Machines (CBM), was a significant participant in the development of the home computer industry in the 1970s to early 1990s. In 1982, the company developed and marketed the world's second-best selling computer, the Commodore 64,[1] and released its Amiga computer line in July 1985. Commodore was one of the world's largest personal computer manufacturers, with sales peaking in the last quarter of 1983 at $49 million (equivalent to $126 million in 2023).[2][3]


Founding and early years (1954–1977)

Commodore logo (1965–1984)
Minuteman MM3S

Jack Tramiel and Manfred Kapp met in the early 1950s while both employed by the Ace Typewriter Repair Company in New York City. In 1954, they partnered to sell used and reconditioned typewriters and used their profits to purchase the Singer Typewriter Company. After acquiring a local dealership selling Everest adding machines, Tramiel convinced Everest to give him and Kapp exclusive Canadian rights to its products and established Everest Office Machines in Toronto in 1955.[4]

By 1958, the adding machine business was slowing. Tramiel made a connection with an Everest agent in England who alerted him to a business opportunity to import portable typewriters manufactured by a Czechoslovakian company into Canada. On October 10, 1958, Tramiel and Kapp incorporated Commodore Portable Typewriter, Ltd. in Toronto to sell the imported typewriters.[5] Commodore funded its operations through factoring over its first two years but faced a continual cash crunch. To bolster the company's financial condition, Tramiel and Kapp sold a portion of the company to Atlantic Acceptance Corporation, one of Canada's largest financing companies, and Atlantic President C. Powell Morgan became the chairman of Commodore. In 1962, the company went public on the Montreal Stock Exchange,[6] under the name of Commodore Business Machines (Canada), Ltd.

With the financial backing of Atlantic Acceptance, Commodore expanded rapidly in the early 1960s. It purchased a factory in West Germany to manufacture its typewriters, began distributing office furniture for a Canadian manufacturer, and sold Pearlsound radio and stereo equipment. In 1965, it purchased the furniture company for which it served as the distributor and moved its headquarters to its facilities on Warden Avenue in the Scarborough district of Toronto.[7] That same year, the company made a deal with a Japanese manufacturer to produce adding machines for Commodore, and purchased the office supply retailer Wilson Stationers to serve as an outlet for its typewriters.

In 1965, Atlantic Acceptance collapsed when it failed to make a routine payment. A subsequent investigation by a royal commission revealed a massive fraud scheme in which the company falsified financial records to acquire loans funneled into a web of subsidiaries where C. Powell Morgan held a personal stake. Morgan then pocketed the money or invested it in several unsuccessful ventures. Commodore was one of the Atlantic subsidiaries directly implicated in this scheme. Despite heavy suspicion, the commission could not find evidence of wrongdoing by Tramiel or Kapp. The scandal left Commodore in a worse financial position as it had borrowed heavily from Atlantic to purchase Wilson, and the loan was called in. Due to the financial scandal, Tramiel could only secure a bridge loan by paying interest well above the prime rate and putting the German factory up as collateral. Tramiel worked with a financier named Irving Gould to extricate himself, who brokered a deal to sell Wilson Stationers to an American company. Commodore now owed Gould money and still did not have sufficient capital to meet its payments, so Tramiel sold 17.9% of the company to Gould in 1966 for $500,000 (equivalent to $3.59 million in 2023). As part of the deal, Gould became the company's new chairman.

Tramiel saw some of the first electronic calculators through his Japanese contacts in the late 1960s. He pivoted from adding machines to marketing calculators produced by companies like Casio under the Commodore brand name. In 1969, Commodore began manufacturing its electronic calculators. Commodore soon had a profitable calculator line and was one of the more popular brands in the early 1970s, producing both consumer and scientific/programmable calculators. However, in 1975, Texas Instruments, the leading supplier of calculator parts, entered the market directly and put out a line of machines priced at less than Commodore's cost for the parts. Commodore obtained an infusion of cash from Gould, which Tramiel used beginning in 1976 to purchase several second-source chip suppliers, including MOS Technology, Inc., to assure his supply.[8] He agreed to buy MOS, which was having troubles of its own, on the condition that its chip designer Chuck Peddle join Commodore directly as head of engineering.

Through the 1970s, Commodore also produced numerous peripherals and consumer electronic products such as the Chessmate, a chess computer based on a MOS 6504 chip, released in 1978.

Entry into the computer market and success (1977–1984)

Commodore PET 2001 (1977)

Chuck Peddle convinced Jack Tramiel that calculators were a dead end business and that they should turn their attention to home computers. Peddle packaged his single-board computer design in a metal case, initially with a keyboard using calculator keys, later with a full-travel QWERTY keyboard, monochrome monitor, and tape recorder for program and data storage, to produce the Commodore PET (Personal Electronic Transactor). From PET's 1977 debut, Commodore was primarily a computer company.

Commodore had been reorganized the year before into Commodore International, Ltd., moving its financial headquarters to the Bahamas and its operational base to West Chester, Pennsylvania, near the MOS Technology site. The operational headquarters, where research and development of new products occurred, retained the name Commodore Business Machines, Inc. In 1980, Commodore launched production for the European market in Braunschweig, Germany.[9]

By 1980, Commodore was one of the three largest microcomputer companies and the largest in the Common Market.[10] The company had lost its early domestic-market sales leadership, however by mid-1981 its US market share was less than 5% and US computer magazines rarely discussed Commodore products.[11] BYTE stated "the lack of a marketing strategy by Commodore, as well as its past nonchalant attitude toward the encouragement and development of good software, has hurt its credibility, especially in comparison to the other systems on the market".[12] Writing for Programming the PET/CBM, Raeto Collin West wrote "CBM's product manuals are widely recognized to be unhelpful; this is one of the reasons for the existence of this book."[13]

Commodore re-emphasized the US market with the VIC-20.[11] The PET computer line was used primarily in schools, where its tough all-metal construction and ability to share printers and disk drives on a simple local area network were advantages, but PETs did not compete well in the home setting where graphics and sound were important. This was addressed with the VIC-20 in 1981, which was introduced at a cost of US$299 (equivalent to $848.00 in 2023) and sold in retail stores. Commodore bought aggressive advertisements featuring William Shatner asking consumers, "Why buy just a video game?" The strategy worked, and the VIC-20 became the first computer to ship more than one million units, with 2.5 million units sold over the machine's lifetime,[14] which helped Commodore's sales in Canadian schools.[15] In promotions aimed at schools and to reduce unsold inventory, PET models labeled 'Teacher's PET' were given away as part of a "buy 2 get 1 free" promotion.

Commodore 64 (1982)

In 1982, Commodore introduced the Commodore 64 (C64) as the successor to the VIC-20. Due to its chips designed by MOS Technology, the C64 possessed advanced sound and graphics for its time, and is often credited with starting the computer demo scene. Its US$595 (equivalent to $1,590 in 2023) price was high compared to that of the VIC-20 but was much less expensive than any other 64K computer. Early C64 advertisements boasted that "You can't buy a better computer at twice the price", with Australian adverts in the mid-1980s using the slogan "Are you keeping up with the Commodore? Because the Commodore is keeping up with you."[16]

In 1983, Tramiel decided to focus on market share and cut the price of the VIC-20 and C64 dramatically, starting the home computer war. TI responded by cutting prices on its 1981 TI-99/4A, leading to a price war involving most vendors other than Apple Computer, including Commodore, TI and Atari. Commodore began selling the VIC-20 and C64 through mass-market retailers such as K-Mart, in addition to traditional computer stores. By the end of this conflict, Commodore had shipped around 22 million C64s, making the C64 the best-selling computer of all time.

The "heart" of Commodore's philosophy: Early Commodore 16 main PCB (prototype), not used in the regular series model. According to Commodore computer engineer Bil Herd, this single-sided PCB was an extraordinary attempt of cost saving by Commodore, which probably failed due to technical problems.[17]

At the June 1983 Consumer Electronics Show, Commodore lowered the retail price of the C64 to $300, and stores sold it for as little as $199. At one point, the company was selling as many computers as the rest of the industry combined.[18] Prices for the VIC-20 and C64 were $50 lower than Atari's prices for the 600XL and 800XL.[19] Commodore's strategy was to, according to a spokesman,[who?] devote 50% of its efforts to the under-$500 market, 30% on the $500–1000 market, and 20% on the over-$1,000 market. Its vertical integration and Tramiel's focus on cost control helped Commodore do well during the price war, with $1 billion in 1983 sales.[20] Although the company and Tramiel's focus on cost cutting over product testing caused hardware defects in the initial C64, some resolved in later iterations.[21] By early 1984, Synapse Software, the largest provider of third-party Atari 8-bit software, received 65% of sales from the Commodore market,[19] and Commodore sold almost three times as many computers as Atari that year.[22]

Despite its focus on the lower end of the market, Commodore's computers were also sold in upmarket department stores such as Harrods.[23] The company also attracted several high-profile customers. In 1984, the company's British branch became the first manufacturer to receive a royal warrant for computer business systems.[24] NASA's Kennedy Space Center was another noted customer, with over 60 Commodore systems processing documentation, tracking equipment and employees, costing jobs, and ensuring the safety of hazardous waste.[25]

Departure of Tramiel, acquisition of Amiga and competition with Atari (1984–1987)

Commodore's logo, dubbed the "Chicken Lips"

By early 1984, Commodore was the most successful home computer company, with more than $1 billion (equivalent to $2.48 billion in 2023) in annual revenue and $100 million (equivalent to $248 million in 2023) in net income, whilst competitors had large losses. The company's revenue of $425 million in the fourth calendar quarter of 1983 more than doubled its revenue of $176 million a year earlier.[26] Although Creative Computing compared the company to "a well-armed battleship [which] rules the micro waves" and threatened to destroy rivals like Atari and Coleco,[27] Commodore's board of directors, affected by the price spiral, decided to exit the company. In January 1984, an internal power struggle resulted after Tramiel resigned due to disagreements with the board chairman, Irving Gould. Gould replaced Tramiel with Marshall F. Smith, a steel executive without a computer or consumer marketing experience.[28][29][30] Tramiel's departure at the moment of Commodore's greatest financial success surprised the industry.[26]

Commodore SX-64 (1984)

In May 1984, Tramiel founded a new company, Tramel Technology, and hired several Commodore engineers to begin work on a next-generation computer design.[31] That same year, Tramiel discovered Warner Communications wanted to sell Atari, which was rumored to be losing about $10,000 a day. Interested in Atari's overseas manufacturing and worldwide distribution network for a new computer, he approached Atari and entered negotiations. After several talks with Atari in May and June 1984, Tramiel had secured funding and bought Atari's Consumer Division (which included the console and home computer departments) in July.[32] In July 1984 Tramiel bought the consumer side of Atari Inc. from Warner Communications and released the Atari ST earlier in 1985 for about $800. As more executives and researchers left Commodore after the announcement to join Tramiel's new company Atari Corp., Commodore followed by filing lawsuits against four former engineers for theft of trade secrets in late July.[year needed] This was intended, in effect, to bar Tramiel from releasing his new computer. One of Tramiel's first acts after forming Atari Corp. was to fire most of Atari's remaining staff and to cancel almost all ongoing projects to review their continued viability. In late July to early August,[year needed] Tramiel representatives discovered the original Amiga contract from the previous fall. Seeing a chance to gain some leverage, Tramiel immediately used the agreement to counter-sue Commodore on August 13.[year needed]

The remaining Commodore management sought to salvage the company's fortunes and plan for the future, and did so by buying a small startup company called Amiga Corporation in August 1984 for $25 million ($12.8 million in cash and $550,000 in common shares). Amiga became a subsidiary of Commodore, called Commodore-Amiga, Inc.[33] During development in 1981, Amiga had exhausted venture capital and needed more financing. Jay Miner and his company had approached their former employer, the Warner-owned Atari, who paid Amiga to continue development work.[34] In return, Atari received the exclusive use of the design as a video game console for one year, after which Atari would have the right to add a keyboard and market it as a complete Amiga computer. The Atari-Amiga contract and engineering logs identify the Atari-Amiga product was designated as the 1850XLD. As Atari was heavily involved with Disney at the time, it was later code-named "Mickey", and the 256K memory expansion board was codenamed "Minnie".[35]

Still suffering serious financial problems, Amiga sought more monetary support from investors that entire spring. At around the same time that Tramiel was negotiating with Atari, Amiga entered into discussions with Commodore. The discussions ultimately led to Commodore's intentions to purchase Amiga outright, which Commodore viewed would cancel any outstanding contracts – including Atari Inc.'s. Tramiel counter-sued on the basis of this interpretation, and sought damages and an injunction to bar Amiga and effectively Commodore from producing any resembling technology, to render Commodore's new acquisition and the source for its next generation of computers useless. The resulting court case lasted several years.[36]

Amiga 500 (1987)

Commodore introduced a new 32-bit computer design to market in the fall of 1985 named the Amiga 1000 for US$1,295, first demonstrated at the CES in 1984. An Atari-Commodore rivalry continued throughout the life of the ST and Amiga platforms. While the rivalry was a holdover from the competition between the C64 and Atari 800, the events leading to the launch of the ST and Amiga served to further alienate fans of each computer, who disagreed as to which platform was superior.[additional citation(s) needed] This was reflected in sales numbers for the two platforms until the release of the Amiga 500 in 1987, which led the Amiga sales to exceed the ST by about 1.5 to 1,[citation needed] despite reaching the market later. However, neither platform captured a significant share of the world computer market, with only the Apple Macintosh surviving the industry-wide shift to Intel-based x86 computers using Microsoft Windows.

Commodore and Atari both sought to compete in the workstation market, with Commodore announcing in 1988 a Transputer-driven system based on the Amiga 2000 in response to the Atari Transputer Workstation. Similarly, a Unix workstation based on the Amiga 2000, featuring the 68020 CPU, was detailed as Atari announced developer shipments of its own 68030-based Unix workstation within a claimed "to or three months".[37] Atari's workstation, the TT030, eventually arrived in 1990 without a version of Unix available,[38] this only eventually becoming available to developers in late 1991.[39] Commodore's workstation arrived in 1990 in the form of the Amiga 3000UX.

Decline and later years (1987–1994)

Commodore suffered a poor reputation with its dealers and customers, and upon the 1987 introduction of the Amiga 2000, Commodore retreated from its earlier strategy of selling its computers to discount outlets and toy stores and favored authorized dealers.[40][41][42] Adam Osborne stated that in April 1981 "the microcomputer industry abounds with horror stories describing the way Commodore treats its dealers and its customers."[43] Many[who?] in the industry believed rumors in late 1983 that Commodore would discontinue the C64 despite its success because they disliked the company's business practices, including its poor treatment of dealers and introducing new computers incompatible with existing ones. One dealer said,[who?] "It's too unsettling to be one of their dealers and not know where you stand with them."[44] After Tramiel's departure, another journalist wrote that he "had never been able to establish excellent relations with computer dealers ... computer retailers have accused Commodore of treating them as harshly as if they were suppliers or competitors, and as a result, many have become disenchanted with Commodore and dropped the product line".[20] Software developers also disliked the company, with one stating that "Dealing with Commodore was like dealing with Attila the Hun."[45] At the 1987 Comdex, an informal InfoWorld survey found that none of the developers present planned to write for Commodore platforms.[46] Commodore's software had a poor reputation;[additional citation(s) needed] InfoWorld in 1984, for example, stated that "so far, the normal standard for Commodore software is mediocrity".[47]

Tramiel's successor, Marshall F. Smith, left the company in 1986, as did his successor Thomas Rattigan in 1987 after a failed boardroom coup. The head of Blue Chip Electronics, a former Commodore employee, described the company as "a well-known revolving door".[48] Commodore faced the problem when marketing the Amiga of still being seen as the company that made cheap computers like the C64 and VIC.[49][50] The C64 remained the company's cash cow but its technology was aging.[48] By the late 1980s, the personal computer market had become dominated by the IBM PC and Apple Macintosh platforms. Commodore's marketing efforts for the Amiga were less successful in breaking the new computer into an established market compared to the success of its 8-bit line. The company put effort into developing and promoting consumer products that would not be in demand for years, such as an Amiga 500-based HTPC called CDTV.

Commodore C286-LT (1990)

As early as 1986, the mainstream press was predicting Commodore's demise,[51] and in 1990 Computer Gaming World wrote of its "abysmal record of customer and technical support in the past".[52] Nevertheless, as profits and the stock price began to slide, The Philadelphia Inquirer's Top 100 Businesses Annual continued to list several Commodore executives among the highest-paid in the region and the paper documented the company's questionable hiring practices and large bonuses paid to executives amid shareholder discontent.[53][54]

Commodore PC20 (1992)

Commodore failed to update the Amiga to keep pace as the PC platform advanced.[55] CBM continued selling the Amiga 2000 with 7.14 MHz 68000 CPUs, even though the Amiga 3000 with its 25 MHz 68030 was on the market. Apple, by this time, was using the 68040 and had relegated the 68000 to its lowest-end model, the black and white Macintosh Classic. The 68000 was used in the Sega Genesis, one of the leading game consoles of the era,[56] Computers fitted with high-color VGA graphics cards and SoundBlaster (or compatible) sound cards had also caught up with the Amiga's performance,[57][58] and Commodore began to fade from the consumer market.[59] Although the Amiga was originally conceived as a gaming machine, Commodore had always emphasized the Amiga's potential for professional applications,[60][61] but the Amiga's high-performance sound and graphics were irrelevant to MS-DOS-based routine business word-processing and data-processing requirements, and the machine could not successfully compete with computers in a business market that was rapidly undergoing commoditization. Commodore introduced a range of PC compatible systems designed by its German division, and while the Commodore name was better known in the US than some of its competition, the systems' price and specifications were only average.[62]

In 1992, the A600 replaced the A500, which removed the numeric keypad, Zorro expansion slot, and other functionality, but added IDE, PCMCIA, and intended as a cost-reduced design. Designed as the Amiga 300, a non-expandable model to sell for less than the Amiga 500, the 600 became a replacement for the 500 due to the unexpectedly higher cost of manufacture. Productivity developers increasingly moved to PC and Macintosh, while the console wars took over the gaming market. David Pleasance, managing director of Commodore UK,[63] described the A600 as a "complete and utter screw-up".[64] In the same year, Commodore released the Amiga 1200 and Amiga 4000 computers, which featured an improved graphics chipset, the AGA. The advent of PC games using 3D graphics such as Doom and Wolfenstein 3D spelled the end of Amiga as a gaming platform.[65][66]

Amiga CD32 (1993)

In 1993, Commodore launched a 32-bit CD-ROM-based game console called the Amiga CD32, described as a 'make or break' system, according to Pleasance.[67] The Amiga CD32 was not sufficiently profitable to return Commodore to solvency, however this was not a universal opinion at Commodore, with Commodore Germany hardware expert Rainer Benda stating "The CD32 was a year late for Commodore. In other words, here, too, it might have been better to focus on the core business than jump on a console and hope to sell 300,000 or more units quickly to avoid bankruptcy."[68]

In 1992, all UK servicing and warranty repairs were outsourced to Wang Laboratories,[citation needed] which was replaced by ICL after failing to meet repair demand during the Christmas rush in 1992.[69] Commodore International's Canadian subsidiary authorized 3D Microcomputers of Ontario to manufacture IBM PC clones with the Commodore brand in late 1993.[70]

By 1994, only Commodore's operations in Canada,[71] Germany, and the United Kingdom were still profitable.[citation needed] Commodore announced voluntary bankruptcy and liquidation on April 29, 1994,[72][73] causing the board of directors to "authorize the transfer of its assets to trustees for the benefit of its creditors", according to an official statement.[74] With Commodore International having reported a $8.2 million quarterly loss in the US, hopes were expressed that the UK and European divisions might be able to continue trading and even survive the demise of the parent company, with a management buyout considered a possibility. Other possibilities included the sale of profitable parts of the company to other parties, with Philips and Samsung considered "likely choices". However, no sale was ever completed.[75]

Post–Commodore International Ltd. (1994–)

Commodore's former assets went separate ways following liquidation, with none of the descendant companies repeating Commodore's early success. Both Commodore and Amiga product lines were produced in the 21st century, but separately with Amiga, Inc. being its own company and Commodore computers briefly being made by Commodore USA, an unrelated Florida-based company that licensed the brand name. Other companies develop operating systems and manufacture computers for Commodore and Amiga brands and software.

"Commodore's high point was the Amiga 1000 (1985). The Amiga was so far ahead of its time that almost nobody--including Commodore's marketing department--could fully articulate what it was all about. Today, it's obvious the Amiga was the first multimedia computer. Still, in those days, it was derided as a game machine because few people grasped the importance of advanced graphics, sound, and video. Nine years later, vendors are still struggling to make systems that work like 1985 Amigas."

— Byte Magazine, August 1994

Subsidiaries Commodore UK and Commodore BV (Netherlands) survived bankruptcy but failed to place a bid to buy out the rest of the operation, or the former parent company. Due to press exposure at the time, Commodore UK was considered the front runner in the bid.[76] Commodore UK and Commodore BV (Netherlands) stayed in business by selling old inventory and making computer speakers and other types of computer peripherals. Commodore BV (Netherlands) dissolved in early 1995, leaving Commodore UK left to make a bid. However, Commodore UK withdrew its bid at the start of the auction process after several larger companies, including Gateway Computers and Dell Inc., became interested, primarily for Commodore's patents relating to the Amiga. The only companies who entered bids were Dell and Escom.[76] The successful bidder was German PC conglomerate Escom on April 22, 1995, beating Dell's bid by $6.6 million.[77] Commodore UK went into liquidation on August 30, 1995.[citation needed] In 1995, Escom paid US$14 million for the assets of Commodore International.[78] It separated the Commodore and Amiga operations into separate divisions and quickly started using the Commodore brand name on a line of PCs sold in Europe. However, it soon started losing money due to over-expansion, declared bankruptcy on July 15, 1996, and was liquidated.

Commodore 64 Web-it PC

In September 1997, Dutch computer maker Tulip Computers acquired the Commodore brand name. In July 2004, Tulip announced a new series of products using the Commodore name: fPET, a flash memory-based USB Flash drive; mPET, a flash-based MP3 Player and digital recorder; eVIC, a 20 GB music player. Tulip also licensed the Commodore trademark and logo to the producers of the C64 DTV, a single-chip implementation of the Commodore 64 computer with 30 built-in games. In late 2004, Tulip sold the Commodore trademarks to Yeahronimo Media Ventures for €22 million.[79] The sale was completed in March 2005 after months of negotiations. Yeahronimo Media Ventures soon renamed itself to Commodore International Corporation and started an operation intended to relaunch the Commodore brand. The company launched its Gravel line of products: personal multimedia players equipped with Wi-Fi, hoping the Commodore brand would help them take off. The Gravel was never a success and was discontinued. On June 24, 2009, CIC renamed itself to Reunite Investments.[80] CIC's founder, Ben van Wijhe, bought a Hong Kong-based company called Asiarim.[81] The brand is now owned by C= Holdings (formerly Commodore International B.V.).[82][83] Reunite became the sole owner in 2010, after buying the remaining shares from the bankrupt Nedfield,[84] then sold it to Commodore Licensing BV, a subsidiary of Asiarim, later in 2010.[83] It was sold again on November 7, 2011. This transaction became the basis of a legal dispute between Asiarim (which, even after that date, made commercial use of the Commodore trademark, among others by advertising for sale Commodore-branded computers, and dealing licensing agreements for the trademarks) and the new owners, that was resolved by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on December 16, 2013, in favor of the new owners.[82]

Commodore 64 at its 25th anniversary event at The Computer History Museum

The Commodore Semiconductor Group (formerly MOS Technology, Inc.) was bought by its former management and, in 1995, resumed operations[citation needed] under the name GMT Microelectronics, utilizing a troubled facility in Norristown, Pennsylvania that Commodore had closed in 1992. By 1999 it had $21 million in revenues and 183 employees. In 2001, the United States Environmental Protection Agency shut the plant down, and GMT ceased operations and was liquidated.

Ownership of the remaining assets of Commodore International, including the copyrights and patents, and the Amiga trademarks, passed from Escom to Gateway 2000 in 1997, who retained the patents and sold the copyrights and trademarks, together with a license to use the patents, to Amiga, Inc., a Washington company founded, among others, by former Gateway subcontractors Bill McEwen and Fleecy Moss in 2000. On March 15, 2004, Amiga, Inc. announced that on April 23, 2003, it had transferred its rights over past and future versions of the Amiga OS (but not yet over other intellectual property) to Itec, LLC, later acquired by KMOS, Inc., a Delaware company. Shortly afterwards, based on loans and security agreements between Amiga, Inc. and Itec, LLC, the remaining intellectual property assets were transferred from Amiga, Inc. to KMOS, Inc. On March 16, 2005, KMOS, Inc. announced that it had completed all registrations with the State of Delaware to change its corporate name to Amiga, Inc. The Commodore/Amiga copyrights were later sold to Cloanto.[85] AmigaOS (as well as spin-offs MorphOS and AROS) is still maintained and updated. Several companies produce related hardware and software today.

Commodore's former US headquarters in West Chester, Pennsylvania, is currently the headquarters to QVC.

The company's computer systems, mainly the C64 and Amiga series, retain a cult following decades after its demise.[86][87]

After a brief reappearance on the gaming PC market in 2007, the brand was acquired under license in 2010 by two young entrepreneurs to become Commodore USA in Florida, until 2013. On December 26, 2014, two Italian entrepreneurs licensed the brand and founded Commodore Business Machines Ltd. in London, to manufacture smartphones.[88][89]

In February 2017, an exhibition room for about 200 Commodore products was opened in Braunschweig, commemorating the European production site of Commodore with up to 2000 employees.[90]

In 2023, since then headquartered in Rome, Italy, Commodore announces a new range of laptops, under the leadership of its CEO Luigi Simonetti, as well as consumer electronics such as futuristic wireless headphones, Bluetooth speakers and video games. By 2024, Commodore has four divisions: Engineering for computers, Sinapsy for video game development — a sector that contributed to the brand's success in its heyday, Academy for user training and Commodore Digital, with Luca Tomassini as President, a division dedicated to Artificial intelligence and the digital human.

Product line

The product line consists of original Commodore products.


Commodore PR-100 programmable calculator

774D, 776M, 796M, 9R23, C108, C110, F4146R, F4902, MM3, Minuteman 6, P50, PR100, SR1800, SR4120D, SR4120R, SR4148D, SR4148R, SR4190R, SR4212, SR4912, SR4921RPN, SR5120D, SR5120R, SR5148D, SR5148R, SR5190R, SR59, SR7919, SR7949, SR9150R, SR9190R, US*3, US*8 and The Specialist series: M55 (The Mathematician), N60 (The Navigator), S61 (The Statistician).[91]

6502-based computers

(listed chronologically)


Further information: Amiga models and variants

x86 IBM PC compatibles

Game consoles


1000, 1024, 1070, 1080, 1081, 1083S, 1084, 1084S, 1084ST, 1085S, 1201, 1402, 1403, 1404, 1405, 1407, 1428, 1428x, 1432D, 1432V, 1701, 1702, 1703, 1801, 1802, 1803, 1900M/DM602, 1901/75BM13/M1, 1902, 1902A, 1930, 1930-II, 1930-III, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1936ALR, 1940, 1942, 1950, 1960, 1962, 2002, A2024, 2080, 76M13, CM-141, DM-14, DM602[92][93][94]


VIC 1520 plotter

The VIC 1520 plotter used the ALPS mechanicals and four-color rotary pen setup that scrolled a 4¼" roll of paper. The ALPS mechanism was shared with several other 8 bit computers of the era, including Tandy, Atari, and Apple.



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