For several days now, Amazon's Echo Spot has been unavailable to buy. First the Amazon listing showed the Spot as temporarily out of stock, then we noticed it was no longer being promoted on any of Amazon's Echo device pages.
Amazon's PR told us this was due to the product selling out, owing to "incredibly positive" customer response. But it appears this is not the case.
Sweet dreams: The best smart alarm clocks
In an interview with The Ambient, Amazon's VP of smart home, Daniel Rausch, confirmed the Spot has been discontinued. "I think we follow customers on those decisions," he said when asked why. "We have all the different sizes of [Echo] Shows, which is a very popular product with customers. It is a charming device."
However, when we tried to purchase a Spot on the site, an Amazon customer sales rep told The Ambient the following: "Unfortunately, with the issues we have been having with the Flickering screen on the Echo Spot, it is no longer available until we are able to have that resolved."
Read this: Do Alexa's new privacy tools go far enough?
By flickering issues, they're referring to ongoing complaints from Spot owners that the display on their device is faulty, causing an intermittent flicker. Could that be why Amazon finally pulled the plug?
Its death should certainly come as no surprise. Amazon recently launched the Echo Show 5, a tiny smart display which also adds a physical shutter to the camera, effectively making the Spot redundant. Then there's the new Echo Dot with Clock, which slaps a digital clock onto Amazon's cheapest smart speaker. So it's difficult to see how the Spot fits into the new lineup.
Asked if it was the Show 5 that killed the Spot, Rausch said the following: "We work backwards from customers - and we did with that shutter. And we brought that shutter to the new Show line - I donât think thatâs factored into the Spot decision."
Whether it was faulty screens or better devices that did it, it's the end of the line for Amazon's alarm clock imitator. For those experiencing malfunctions with the Echo Spot, Amazon advises they contact customer services.
Now read this