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Spotify will kill Car Thing units later this year, tells owners to throw them away



Spotify has just announced that Car Thing, its discontinued car display, is dying. As in, the company will be killing any remaining units later this year.

Spotify first announced Car Thing in early 2021 and opened up sales in the US in early 2022, months after removing “Car View” in its mobile app. A driving-friendly UI for Spotify has since returned, but Spotify ended up pulling the plug on Car Thing in July 2022, mere months after launching the $90 device.

In our review of Car Thing, we found the device to be a good idea and pretty well-implemented, but it was a tough sell as Android Auto and CarPlay continued to be more widely available.

When it discontinued Car Thing, Spotify cited “product demand and supply chain issues” as key reasons, but said that “existing devices will perform as intended.” That’s no longer the case.

In an email to customers, Spotify confirmed plans to cease operation of Car Thing entirely. Any units still being used in the wild will cease operating in December 2024.

Spotify explains:

We’re switching gears. As of December 9th, 2024, Car Thing will be discontinued, and will stop operating.

On a support page, Spotify reiterates the December 9, 2024 date, and also tells users that they should reset the device and dispose of it once it stops working.

We recommend resetting your Car Thing to factory settings and safely disposing of your device following local electronic waste guidelines. Contact your state or local waste disposal department to determine how to dispose of or recycle Car Thing in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

It’s a shame to see perfectly functional hardware being bricked, and it’s almost worse to see users being directly told to throw them away. However, some users have found ways to install Android on the Car Thing, so it may be able to live on for anyone willing to take the risk of installing a new OS on it.

Thanks Ryne Hager!

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