The Amiga is a family of personal computers sold by Commodore in the 1980s and 1990s. The first model was launched in 1985 as a high-end home computer and became popular for its impressive graphical, audio and multi-tasking abilities. The Amiga provided a significant upgrade from 8-bit computers, such as the Commodore 64, and the platform quickly grew in popularity among computer enthusiasts. The best selling model, the Amiga 500, was introduced in 1987 and became the leading home computer of the late 1980s and early 1990s in much of Western Europe. In North America success was more modest. The Amiga went on to sell approximately six million units. Second generation Amiga systems (A1200 and A4000) were released in 1992. However, failure to repeat the technological advances of the first systems and poor marketing meant that the Amiga quickly lost its market share to competing platforms, such as the game consoles and IBM PC compatibles.
The first Amiga model, the Amiga 1000 was launched in 1985 as a high-end home computer and became popular for its impressive graphics, video and audio capabilities. In 2006, PC World rated the Amiga 1000 as the seventh greatest PC of all time, stating "Years ahead of its time, the Amiga was the world's first multimedia, multitasking personal computer".
Following the A1000, Commodore updated the desktop line of Amiga computers with the Amiga 2000 in 1987, the Amiga 3000 in 1990, and the Amiga 4000 in 1992, each offering improved capabilities and expansion options. However, the best selling models were the budget models, particularly the highly successful Amiga 500 (1987) and the Amiga 1200 (1992). The Amiga 500+ (1991) was the shortest lived model, replacing the Amiga 500 and lasting only six months until it was phased out and replaced with the Amiga 600 (1992), which in turn was also quickly replaced by the Amiga 1200.
Commodore's last Amiga offering before filing for bankruptcy was an attempt to capture a portion of the highly competitive 1990s console market with the Amiga CD32 (1993), a 32-bit CD-ROM games console. Though discontinued after Commodore's demise it met with moderate commercial success in Europe.
Following purchase of Commodore's assets by Escom in 1995, the A1200 and A4000T continued to be sold in small quantities until 1996, though the ground lost since the initial launch and the prohibitive expense of these units meant that the classic Amiga line never regained any real popularity.