I don't get the Oric 1 reference either.
My best guess as to why it never took off is the network effect. Sinclair was the first to get a computer with colour, high-resolution graphics and "sound"- and hence play a passable approximation of late-70s/early-80s standard arcade games- at anything like that price point on the UK market.
Which meant that it was the first to get games written for it, which meant that people bought it because it had the games, which increased the userbase, which in turn made companies more likely to write games for it... (#)
...and on the flipside, the would-be rivals to the Spectrum that came out later *didn't* have that established software base when they came out, making people less likely to buy them, making companies less likely to write software for them.
I got loads of my Dad's old Your Computer magazines from circa early 1982 to early 1985, and there seem to have been a ludicrous number of would-be home computers released at that time- almost all incompatible, and almost all sunk without trace. Many of those were aimed at the same market segment as the Spectrum. The Oric, oddly, seems to have been quite well-known despite its lack of software in the UK (apparently it did better in France...!).
(#) This is almost certainly why the Spectrum survived until the early 1990s. The ZX81 lasted around three years before it was discontinued. The Spectrum was starting to look a bit dated by the mid-80s, and it's noticeable that it was around that point that the hobbyist market around it seemed to die off or move on- i.e. at the point the machine probably would have died if its established software base hadn't been such a selling point- leaving it as a gaming machine, despite its limitations in that area. Why? Assloads of games.