It's no surprise that Spotify, fresh out of an initial public offering, is venturing forth into the world of hardware — surprising, however, is the rumor that this soon-to-be-announced product might not be smart speaker after all.
It's long been believed that the music streaming service has plans to release a smart speaker akin to Google's Home portfolio or Amazon's Echo line of devices, but new speculation suggests otherwise. The company is slated to announce some news on April 24, and there's evidence one of the announcements will be a music player for cars that accepts voice commands for playback controls.
Spotify's First Physical Product Is A Music Player For Cars
Back in February, several Spotify users took to the internet to report that they'd received an offer from Spotify of a new device that would be bundled in a $12.99 monthly subscription. The price would cover a Spotify premium membership and the device itself, and would require users to pay for a year. The device features a circular design with several physical controls, and is outfitted with a green ring light.
Whoa https://t.co/BHcMb0BZbK — nilay patel (@reckless) April 6, 2018
Another report puts the offer at $14.99 per month, but with support for the Amazon Alexa voice assistant. The device will reportedly include built-in 4G connectivity features so as to operate even without pairing it to a smartphone. Spotify's prompt for the offer never appeared twice, however, and users who clicked on the offer was redirected to an error page, suggesting the invites were released earlier than scheduled.
In the Spotify forums, administrators have said this is a test, or that they'd not received any news on such a product. But the mere fact that several people have received the offer seems to legitimize its existence.
There's still confirming whether Spotify will officially unveil the device on April 24, but it should be mentioned that the company began testing in-app voice search last month, and this new device, again, will have voice controls. Aside from the car player, there are no hints thus far whether Spotify also plans to release a smart speaker, but as mentioned, that product has been heavily speculated.
Why This Makes Sense
Focusing on the car seems wise, since audio and music playback is such a huge component of driving activities. A portable music system with 4G abilities seems like the perfect introductory product for Spotify's emerging hardware division. The question is if this device will be able to work outside of cars as a standalone music player, which essentially would make it an iPod.