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Packard Bell
Packard Bell
is a Dutch-based computer manufacturing subsidiary of Acer. The brand name originally belonged to an American radio set manufacturer, Packard Bell, founded by Herbert "Herb" A. Bell and Leon S. Packard in 1933. Some websites use 1926 as the founding date when Herbert Bell was an executive with Jackson Bell Company, Los Angeles, California.[1][2] In 1986, Israeli investors bought the brand from Teledyne, in order to name their newly formed personal computer manufacturing company producing discount computers in the United States and Canada. In 2000, Packard Bell, which in the late 1990s had become a subsidiary of NEC, stopped its North American operations while in the meantime expanding overseas and became a leading brand in the European PC markets. In 2008 it was acquired by the Taiwanese consumer electronic firm Acer in the aftermath of its takeover of Gateway computers. Gateway products are now sold in the Americas and Asia, while Packard Bell
Packard Bell
products are sold in Africa, Europe
Europe
and the Middle East.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Packard Bell
Packard Bell
Europe

2 Sponsorship 3 Possible return to the United States 4 References 5 External links

History[edit]

The Packard Bell
Packard Bell
logo in the '90s.

In 1986, Beny Alagem, Jason Barzilay and Alex Sandel, as equal partners, bought the American former radio and television set brand from Teledyne[3][4] and resurrected it as a manufacturer of low-cost personal computers. Their computers were among the first IBM PC compatibles sold in retail chains such as Sears.[5] According to Fortune magazine, Packard Bell
Packard Bell
sometimes benefited from misplaced name recognition, with consumers (especially first-time computer buyers) and even some salespeople erroneously associating the company with others of similar name, such as Hewlett-Packard, Pacific Bell, and Bell Laboratories. The confusion was further facilitated by Packard Bell's then-current slogan, "America grew up listening to us. It still does."[6] The company also sold nearly identical systems under different names, making comparison difficult.

A Packard Bell
Packard Bell
Multimedia D160 manufactured in the mid-1990s

Aside from low price and brand confusion, Packard Bell's success in number of units sold may have come from two areas of innovation: 1) branding and industrial design, provided by the San Francisco offices of frog design; and 2) its boot-up shell Packard Bell
Packard Bell
Navigator, created by The Pixel Company in Seattle. They targeted a huge section of consumers who were inexperienced using computers. Frog design gave the look of quality and utilized innovations such as color-coding cable connectors (first seen on the IBM PS/2), while Navigator provided the ability for users to launch installed programs by clicking on-screen buttons, and then later a house metaphor.[7] During this phase, returns dropped from 19% to 10%, and sales grew exponentially.[citation needed] In late 1995 to early 1996 Microsoft
Microsoft
forced boot-up shells off OEM computers by updating its Microsoft
Microsoft
Windows distribution agreement (OPK 2) and Packard Bell, without a clear on-shelf differentiator, saw sales begin to tumble.[citation needed] Also in 1995, Compaq
Compaq
sued Packard Bell
Packard Bell
for not disclosing that Packard Bell
Packard Bell
computers incorporated used parts. This practice was, in fact, widespread in the computer industry, including Compaq
Compaq
itself. However, unlike its rival companies, Packard Bell
Packard Bell
was judged not to have advertised the practice sufficiently in its warranties (Compaq, for instance, disclosed it in the warranty statement).[8] In 1995, Packard Bell
Packard Bell
acquired Zenith Data Systems
Zenith Data Systems
from Groupe Bull
Groupe Bull
in a deal which saw Groupe Bull
Groupe Bull
and NEC
NEC
taking a larger stake in Packard Bell[9] to create a $4.5 billion company. The company then became integrated with NEC
NEC
Computers. Its 15% market share made it the largest PC manufacturer, in terms of units shipped, in the United States.[citation needed] However, Compaq
Compaq
overtook it in retail sales in mid-1996, and cemented its lead the next year with the release of a $999 PC in March 1997.[citation needed] Packard Bell
Packard Bell
posted losses totaling more than $1 billion in 1997 and 1998. In the U.S., price pressure from Compaq
Compaq
and, later, eMachines, along with continued poor showings in consumer satisfaction surveys made it difficult for the company to remain profitable and led to Alagem's departure in 1998.[citation needed] In 1999, NEC
NEC
began withdrawing the Packard Bell
Packard Bell
name from the U.S. market, while keeping it in Europe, where the brand was untainted by allegations of sub-standard quality.[10]

Packard Bell
Packard Bell
Europe[edit]

Packard Bell's logo 2003–2009.

In 2000, NEC
NEC
withdrew Packard Bell
Packard Bell
from the U.S. market, selling their Utah-based call centers, all its US inventory and all US product liability to Alorica Inc, who was responsible for providing support to all remaining US customers. Packard Bell
Packard Bell
also entered other businesses such as MP3
MP3
players. In 2004, the company changed its logo and began manufacturing media products for television and wireless networking. Packard Bell
Packard Bell
also sells accessories and has started operating in other continents. In September 2006, Packard Bell
Packard Bell
was bought by John Hui (the former owner of eMachines). Now known as Packard Bell
Packard Bell
Europe B.V., the company relocated to Nijmegen
Nijmegen
in the Netherlands. In August 2007, the Chinese PC manufacturer Lenovo confirmed its interest in acquiring Packard Bell
Packard Bell
in a move to expand its products into Europe
Europe
by placing an offer for Packard Bell.[11] In January 2008, Acer announced that it had acquired a 75% controlling share in the parent company of Packard Bell
Packard Bell
due to ownership rights that it had acquired when it purchased Gateway the year before, enabling Acer to counter-offer any third-party bid on Packard Bell, leading to a takeover.[12] Packard Bell
Packard Bell
is now under the same Acer corporate subsidiary (and shares components with) Gateway, Inc., a notable former competitor. Sponsorship[edit] From 1996 until 2000, when Strongbow took over the contract, Packard Bell sponsored English football club Leeds United. From 2009 to 2010, the name Packard Bell
Packard Bell
has been seen on the FIAT Yamaha MotoGP racebike of World Champion Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi
of Italy.[13] Packard Bell
Packard Bell
also dropped their sponsorship from the Professional Electronic Sports Team, 4Kings. Possible return to the United States[edit] On October 14, 2016 Southern Telecom, Inc. entered into a license and trademark assignment agreement with JMM Lee to purchase the United States trademark. Southern Telecom is a Brooklyn-based manufacturer. Southern Telecom will begin manufacturing Packard Bell
Packard Bell
products in 2017. In June 2017 JCPenney
JCPenney
revealed that they would begin selling a line of Packard Bell
Packard Bell
laptops as part of their expansion into the dormitory market.[14] References[edit]

^ Source: Computerhope ^ Source: Computer History Museum, [1] in Los Angeles ^ BetaNews NEC
NEC
Sells Packard Bell
Packard Bell
to Calif. Investor ^ Packard Bell
Packard Bell
Branding History --Tedium ^ Packard Bell
Packard Bell
sells more PC's in the U.S. than anyone, so just who are these guys?, Fortune, June 12, 1995 ^ Sprout, Alison L. with Coxeter, Ruth M., Packard Bell
Packard Bell
sells more PCs in the U.S. than anyone. So just who are these guys?, Fortune Magazine, June 12, 1995, http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1995/06/12/203837/index.htm ^ Linebach, Nath ^ " Packard Bell
Packard Bell
Suing Compaq". Chicago Tribune. 11 October 1995. Retrieved 23 December 2015.  ^ Berley, Max (8 February 1996). " Groupe Bull
Groupe Bull
Quits PCs in 3-Way Deal". International Herald Tribune. Archived from the original on 25 October 2005. Retrieved 10 March 2014.  ^ NEC
NEC
disables Packard Bell
Packard Bell
NEC, ZDNet, November 3, 1999 ^ Lenovo close to acquiring Packard Bell ^ Acer Buys 75 Percent of Packard Bell
Packard Bell
– Washington Post ^ " Packard Bell
Packard Bell
sponsor of Yamaha Factory Racing Team Changeover of sponsorship from Acer". Acer Group. 2 February 2009. Retrieved 23 December 2015.  ^ J.C. Penney to open dorm shops in 500 stores Tonya Garcia, Marketwatch, June 6, 2017

External links[edit]

Official site Support information on old Packard Bell
Packard Bell
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