December 27, 1965 Electronics
[Table of Contents]
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics.
See articles from Electronics,
published 1930 - 1988. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.
This is the electronics market
prediction for Switzerland, circa 1966. It was part of a comprehensive assessment by
the editors of Electronics magazine of the state of commercial, military, and
consumer electronics at the end of 1965. This statement was a bit unexpected: "Although
the Swiss are renowned for their precision work in watchmaking, machine tools and instruments,
their country is regarded as 'a bit backward' in electronics." Not many major national
production companies resided in Switzerland; IBM and RCA had a large presence, though.
Unless you can find a news story on the state of the industry, detailed reports must
be purchased from research companies like
Statista. Their website has a lot of charts on Switzerland's current
electronics market showing revenue in the consumer electronics segment amounts of US$1,798M
Separate reports are included for
(the Berlin Wall was still up then), the
obviously not part of Europe, is also covered.
Although the Swiss are renowned for their precision work in watchmaking, machine tools
and instruments, their country is regarded as "a bit backward" in electronics. A leading
electronics researcher says Switzerland is interested in applications rather than new
Electronics sales totaled $231.4 million this year and are expected to climb to $250.7
million in 1966.
Military electronics is concentrated narrowly. Contraves AG, in Zurich, develops special
equipment for the Swiss Army and sells military systems to other countries. One product,
a mobile radar fire-control system called the super-fledermaus, is sold to members of
the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Contraves is also participating in a satellite
prospect of the European Space Research Organization satellite.
Communications is a growing area. Albiswerk AG of Zurich is installing a semi-electronic
telephone switching system. It's a time-multiplex system with an electronic logic unit.
This year, the government's telephone and telegraph agency has spent about $100 million
for telecommunications equipment; next year's expenditure is expected to reach $120 million.
Philips AG produces about 60% of the television sets sold in Switzerland. About 59,000
sets were sold this year, and the same number is expected to be sold in 1966. The population
of Switzerland is 5.8 million.
Generally, consumer electronics is not attractive to Swiss industry because of high
tariffs in exporting to Common Market countries. However, Switzerland is a prime market
for such imports as instruments and computers, thanks to a labor shortage. Until recently
the economy depended largely on foreign labor; one out of every three wage and salary
earners was a foreigner. However, the Swiss government has ordered a reduction in immigration
of 5% this year and a similar percentage in 1966. For Swiss manufacturing and service
industries, this has resulted in automation. Scientific and industrial instruments and
equipment are reported to be expanding at a rate of 10% to 20% a year.
Switzerland is building one nuclear electrical plant with a capacity of 250 to 300
megawatts of energy, with another plant being planned. Also being considered are electronic
steering of reactors and a wide range of electronic equipment.
Although Switzerland is light on electronics research, two American companies operate
research centers in Switzerland: the International Business Machines Corp. at Huschlikon
and Radio Corporation of America in Zurich. HCA has an ambitious materials program that
includes fundamental work in ferroelectrics and dielectrics.