British Dopers: Were Sinclair Radionics products Junk?

Clive Sinclair was an odd genius/entrepreneur. He came out with some interesting stuff-he was the first to supply miniaturized calculators, radios, etc. he also brought out one of the frist cheap PCs.
However, his company was too small to enjoy any economies of scale-plus he was poorly capitalized.
He would rush a new product to market, before all the bugs were worked out-then face losses as customers returned the products. Then, Japanese and Chinese competitors would copy his stuff, and steal the market.
At any rate, sometime in the late 1970’s, he came out with a miniature FM stereo receiver (the System 80). It was a modular system that you could attach to walls or furniture-looked neat. I’ve been looking for on on eBay-but never see them. Were they a poor quality product?

I’ve never heard of it. The only Sinclair products I owned were a ZX81 and a ZX Spectrum 48k. The latter was just fine for its time.

All Sinclair products had a sort of feel to them as if they were prototypes that escaped the lab - slightly less so in the boom years of the ZX81 and Spectrum.

But then I had Japanese electronic products of the same era and they were pretty clunky and weird too, although in subtly different style - that was generally just the state of play around that time.

Many Sinclair products (including the digital watches) were available optionally in kit form - when you bought one ready-assembled, that meant it had been hand-assembled, which brings about some variability in quality - especially in cases where the product line enjoyed sudden sales spikes.

It is worth noting that Clive Sinclair is still in business (as Sinclair Research, no less) - and he’s got a prototype electric vehicle in development - the X-1 - an electric recumbent bike built into a sort of pod design (looks for all the world like a two-wheeled C5). The website is still offering customers the chance to reserve for delivery in July 2011. Same old, same old.