December 27, 1965 Electronics
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Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics.
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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 in 2018.
Separate reports are included for
(the Berlin Wall was still up then), the
obviously not part of Europe, is also covered.
Switzerland Electronics Market
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 directions.
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.