Spotify has finally caught up with the rest of the world. The company announced a device called the Car Thing in April last year. It was released into the world in February 2022. And now, it’s cancelled. As far as hardware launches go, that’s extremely short-lived.
The news was announced during the company’s most recent round of earnings data. The device isn’t going away, so if you happened to have bought one, it’ll continue working. But Spotify isn’t making any more — though they’ll remain on sale until existing stock is gone.
What is this Car Thing?
A Spotify spokesperson, speaking to TechCrunch, tried to play Car Thing’s demise off as an acceptable part of a broader experiment in how users listen to music in cars.
“Based on several factors, including product demand and supply chain issues, we have decided to stop further production of Car Thing units. Existing devices will perform as intended. This initiative has unlocked helpful learnings, and we remain focused on the car as an important place for audio,” they said.
Even if Spotify’s only hardware to date has come as a surprise to the company, it wasn’t exactly unexpected. By all accounts, Spotify’s gadget was acceptable quality, but it requires two things to function. First, a Premium Spotify subscription is a must. Second, a connected smartphone was also a requirement.
That sort of made the Car Thing a little superfluous. Spotify’s app already did most of what this device was supposed to, up to and including voice control. Asking nearly R1,500 to do something you can already do for nothing isn’t really a recipe for a winning product. Goodbye, Car Thing. You won’t be missed.