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Franklin
Franklin Computer Corporation - this page is a stub

Franklin Computer Corporation, today known as Franklin Electronic Publishers, Inc. (FEP), is an American electronics manufacturer, founded in 1981 and currently based in Burlington, New Jersey (USA). Since the mid-1980s, it produced a range of hand-held electronic devices, such as spelling correctors, dictionaries, translation devices, word games and medical references [1].

Original company logo (obtained via Wikipedia [1]).

The company is also known for the manufacturing of clones of the Apple II series computer, the first of which was marketed in 1982. Apart from the hardware, the company also copied Apple's operating system, arguing that software was not subject to copyright since it was not printed. Franklin eventually lost the case against Apple and had to abandon production of the clones [1].

After losing the sawsuit from Apple, the company filed for bankruptcy and reduced its workforce from 275 to 100 employees. Nevertheless, it kept producing Apple clones – and later also IBM PC clones – for several years, until Apple pushed them out of the desktop marked around 1989. It then concentrated on its hand-held product line which had been introduced in 1986. In 2009 the company was taken off the American Stock Exchange and outsourced its entire research and development (R&D) to Hong Kong. Later that year, it was merged with Saunders Acquisition Corporation [1]. At the hight of its success, the company employed 450 employees.

Franklin products on this website
Word Wiz (Spellmaster) lexicon with hidden enryption function
Events
  • 1981
    Founded as Franklin Computer Corporation
  • 1982
    Franklin ACE 100 (Apple II clone), Franklin ACE 1000 (Apple II Plus clone)
    Sued by Apple
  • 1983
    Lost case against Apple
  • 1984
    Reorganisation (workforce reduced from 275 to 100)
  • 1985
    Franklin ACE 2000 (Apple IIe clone)
    Franklin ACE 500 (Apple IIc clone)
  • 1986
    Franklin PC6000 (IBM clone)
    Spelling ACE (hand-held refrence design)
  • 1987
    Language Master
  • 1988
    Franklin PC8000 (IBM clone)
    Acquisition of Proximity Technology
  • 1989
    Abandonning of the desktop market
    Electronic version of the Bible
    Renamed Franklin Electronic Publishers (FEP)
  • 1995
    Bookman product line
  • 2009
    R&D outsourced to Hong Kong
    Taken off the American Stock Exchange
    Merged with Saunders Acquisition Corporation
Known products
  • ACE 100
    Apple II clone
  • ACE 1000
    Apple II Plus clone
  • ACE 1200
    Same as ACE 1000, but with two built-in 5¼" floppy drives
  • ACE 80
    Zilog Z80 processor card
  • CX
    Portable Apple II clone 1
  • ACE 2000
    Apple IIe clone
  • ACE 2100
    With additional RAM
  • ACE 2200
    With detached keyboard and dual internal floppy
  • PC-5000
    PC clone
  • PC-6000
    PC clone with 8088 (4.77 MHz) 512K RAM, single floppy
  • PC-8000
    PC clone with 8088 (4.77 MHz) 640K RAM, dual floppy
  • Spelling ACE
    80,000 word spell checker 2
  • Language Master
    Spelling corrector, dictionary, thesaurus
  • Word Wiz
    Lexicon, words games, text encryptor
  • SpellMaster
    Spelling checker, word games, text encryptor
  • Bookman
    Electronic book with plug-ins
  • REX 5000
    Personal digital assistent (later sold to Xircom)
  • PageMark
    Japanese-English dictionary (sold via Seiko)
  • eBookMan
    eBook variant of BookMan
  1. Cancelled due to bankruptcy in 1984.
  2. Using technology from Proximity Technology.

References
  1. Wikipedia, Franklin Electronic Publishers
    Visited 21 July 2022.
Further information
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Crypto Museum. Created: Friday 22 July 2022. Last changed: Tuesday, 26 July 2022 - 12:40 CET.
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