"It's always sad to see a tech company fail. In many instances,
hard work and dedication are wiped out by bad marketing decisions
and silly product placement. That discouraging story has apparently
been repeated. Netpliance is no longer making the iOpener. There's
a feeling that this failure may spell doom for the appliance
computer market, which AOL is about to enter into with their
"A few months ago, the $99 iOpener was deemed one of the
first "inexpensive Internet appliances", a cool mini-PC with a LCD
display. The company assumed you would use their proprietary
Internet service (which would be their profit making device).
Instead, various hardware hackers snatched up the box and converted
it into a Linux plaything."
"Netpliance, manufacturer of the iOpener, announced a "major
shift in their business model" on Friday. For those of you not
familiar with business lingo, a "major shift in their business
model," as defined by Netpliance, is equivalent to "We lost our
shirts and are cutting 38% of our work force". This comes after
Netpliance increased the cost of their system to help offset
losses. Sales essentially died, greatly accelerating the company's
steep dive into the abyss."