The failure of Microsoft’s Kin, the smartphone aimed at a young audience, may not have surprised the company’s employees, according to an email sent to Business Insider.
“No one thought it was a great product to launch anyway to begin with,” wrote the employee, whose name is omitted for obvious reasons. Speculating that the company’s launch party may have cost more than the phones earned in revenue, the emailer added, “As an employee, I am embarrassed. As a shareholder, I am pissed.”
It’s always risky to assume that someone represents the feelings of an entire workforce, especially when you’re talking about a company like Microsoft, which employed 88,596 people as of the end of June. But the fact that the device was pulled less than two months after it arrived in stores certainly suggests a lack of company support. And as noted earlier, a comments thread to a post at Mini-Microsoft covering the Kin and company layoffs has turned into a giant thread of anonymous complaints, supposedly from employees, about the company’s leadership, with lots of bitter words about the Kin’s failure.
So how badly did the Kin do in the marketplace? Daring Fireball’s John Gruber says a “well-placed birdie” told him only 503 Kins were sold, but he adds a disclaimer that he can’t vouch for the number. We don’t have any sources with direct access to sales figures, but we’ve heard that office gossip within Microsoft pegged the number at an “order of magnitude” higher.
Don’t miss MobileBeat 2010, VentureBeat’s conference on the future of mobile. The theme: “The year of the superphone and who will profit.” Now expanded to two days, MobileBeat 2010 will take place on July 12-13 at The Palace Hotel in San Francisco. Register now. Tickets are going quickly. For complete conference details, or to apply for the MobileBeat Startup Competition, click here.
Mobile developer or publisher? VentureBeat is studying mobile app analytics.
Fill out our 5-minute survey
, and we'll share the data with you.