(Pocket-lint) - Spotify has quietly halted all manufacturing of Car Thing - its smart media player/dashboard accessory for cars - just five months after it finally made the product widely available for purchase.
First announced in early 2021, Car Thing is designed to make it easier to control the Spotify streaming service on your phone from a car. It features a physical dial on the front along with a 4-inch touchscreen, four microphones at the top, and four preset buttons for controls. You control your car's audio via Car Thing using either "Hey Spotify" commands or the device's dial, screen, and preset buttons.
As part of the company’s latest earnings release, Spotify revealed its decision to stop manufacturing Car Thing negatively impacted its gross margin and cost the company €31 million (around $32 million USD). Nevertheless, it shuttered the project and blamed several factors including product demand and supply chain issues. It didn't mention the number of units sold to date.
Existing Car Things will still continue to work, Spotify has said. The device requires a Spotify Premium subscription, and, of course, an iOS or Android smartphone with Wi-Fi or mobile data connection. You can read more about how the device works here. It's still available to buy while supplies last - at a discounted rate of $49.99 (down from its regular sale price of $89.99)
Spotify said Car Thing unlocked some helpful lessons, and that it remains focused on "the car as an important place for audio".
Despite this cancellation, things look good for Spotify: Its free and paid listener bases are still growing. It now has 433 million and 188 million users, respectively.