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Industry Personal computers
Fate Discontinued
Founded September 1998; 20 years ago (1998-09)
Defunct January 2013; 5 years ago (2013-01)
Headquarters Irvine, California
Production output
1-2 million computers per year
Owner Gateway, Inc. (2004-2007)
Acer Inc. (2007–2013)
Number of employees
Website www.emachines.com

eMachines was a brand of low-end personal computers. In 2004, it was acquired by Gateway, Inc., which was in turn acquired by Acer Inc. in 2007. The eMachines brand was discontinued in 2013.


eMachines was founded in September 1998 by Lap Shun Hui as a joint venture of South Korean companies Korea Data Systems and TriGem.[1] The company sold PCs at prices of $399 or $499, all without a monitor.[2]

By March 1999, the company was ranked 4th in U.S. computer sales, with a 9.9% market share.[1]

In August 1999, the company released the eOne, a computer that resembled the iMac, priced at $799, with a $400 rebate for customers who signed a 3-year agreement with CompuServe.[3]

In September 1999, the company announced plans to launch an internet service provider.[4]

In November 1999, the company acquired Free-PC, which had previously given away free computers in exchange for advertising.[5]

In March 2000, at the peak of the dot-com bubble, the company became a public company via an initial public offering, raising $180 million. By that time, the company had sold 2 million computers, but had lost $84.5 million in the previous year on $815 million in sales and a 4% profit margin. Shares fell 8% in their debut. At that time, major shareholders included AOL with a 6.4% stake and Bill T. Gross with a 12.4% stake.[6]

By May 2001, the stock was trading at 38 cents per share and the company was delisted from the NASDAQ.[7]

In January 2002, Lap Shun Hui, the founder of the company, acquired the company for $161 million.[8]

In December 2003, the company released the T6000 desktop, the world's first mass-marketed AMD Athlon 64-based system, retailing at US$1,299. The systems were primarily sold through Best Buy stores, but the PCs were also available online.[9]

In January 2004, the company was the first to sell notebooks based on the AMD Mobile Athlon 64.[10]

In March 2004, the company was acquired by Gateway Inc. for 50 million shares of Gateway common stock and $30 million cash. Wayne Inouye, CEO of eMachines, became CEO of Gateway, replacing founder Ted Waitt.[11]

In October 2007, Acer Inc. acquired Gateway.[12]

In January 2013, the eMachines brand was discontinued.[13]