By eweek  |  Posted 2001-09-03

3Coms Audrey never even made it to wallflower status — she left before the ball was over. Audrey was an adorable but badly handicapped Internet appliance. Introduced in October 2000, the product was guillotined in March when 3Com abruptly shut down its Internet appliance division amid other cost-cutting actions. The sweet-looking box was a dreadful disappointment, pulling in sales of less than $10 million in its short time on the market and likely not even recouping its lavish marketing budget. 3Com blamed the Audrey fiasco on bad timing, saying consumers just werent ready for Net appliances. But more precisely, Audrey bombed because there was no demand for an expensive, elf-size device that delivered subpar Internet access. The $499 Audrey was pitched as an electronic organizer for the whole family, but it allowed only one e-mail account. The little cutie was buried in a raspberry chiffon dress.

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