Spotify to Permanently End ‘Car Thing Device’, Users Ask for Refunds

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Spotify is informing customers who bought its Car Thing device that it will stop functioning after December 9, 2024. Although the company discontinued the product in July 2022, it initially committed to supporting the units already sold.

Spotify’s strategy regarding the device has shifted, as the company informed users on Thursday that all Car Thing units “will stop operating” later this year, according to the email sent to buyers.

Car Thing, which became available to the public in February 2022, was mainly aimed at individuals lacking a built-in infotainment system in their vehicles. By connecting to the Spotify mobile app on a user’s phone, the device streamed music over the car’s sound system. Despite Spotify citing low demand and supply chain issues as reasons for discontinuation, Car Thing developed a niche following.

Customers are understandably frustrated that a $90 device they purchased will soon be unusable, especially after being told it would continue to be supported. Some have expressed their discontent on social media, with others demanding refunds.

“The goal of our Car Thing exploration in the U.S. was to learn more about how people listen in the car,” Spotify said in an email to Truth Voices. “In July 2022, we announced we’d stop further production and now it’s time to say goodbye to the devices entirely. Users will have until December 9, 2024 before all Car Thing devices are deactivated.”

According to Spotify’s support page, users should reset their Car Thing to factory settings and “safely dispose of your device following local electronic waste guidelines.”

The page further explains that this decision is part of Spotify’s efforts to “streamline [its] product offerings,” allowing the company to “focus on developing new features and enhancements,” despite it being “disappointing” for users.

Spotify also indicated it has no immediate plans to re-enter the hardware market, stating that “there are no plans to release a replacement or new version of Car Thing.”

Aisha Malik
Aisha Malik
Aisha is a consumer news reporter. Previously, she was a telecom reporter at MobileSyrup. Aisha holds an honours bachelor’s degree from University of Toronto and a master’s degree in journalism from Western University.

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