Amazon Echo Sells Out Amid Refresh Speculation
An Amazon Echo sell out has fueled speculation the online retailer might have a refresh in the works.
Would-be Amazon Echo customers have discovered that the device is currently listed as sold out on the company’s website. As of this writing, Amazon is listing the smart home hub’s next availability at September 4.
While a sell-out would normally mean little, there has been some speculation over the last few months that Amazon could be working on an “Echo 2,” a second-generation update to the appliance. Those reports were further bolstered on Tuesday by an email sent to developers for the popular, Amazon-owned video site Twitch, which mentioned an “Amazon Echo 2.”
According to The Verge, which earlier reported on the sell-out, Twitch informed the technology news site that the mention of an Echo 2 was simply a typo and did not refer to an actual device.
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Amazon’s Echo is both a virtual assistant and speaker. The onboard assistant Alexa can be used to control smart home device, like thermostats and lights, and can also play music and audiobooks, among other content, through its speaker. While the Echo has proven popular, it’s been largely unchanged over the last two years since its release.
Amazon (AMZN) typically sells the Echo for $180, but recently launched a limited-time sale, bringing its price down to $100. Amazon has also started selling the Echo in its Whole Foods stores.
It’s unknown whether all of that would amount to a smoking gun. It’s possible that Amazon’s reduced pricing and Whole Foods offer might have depleted its online stock. It’s also possible that, like other companies, Amazon is simply trying to thin out its stock in anticipation of a refresh it could release sometime soon.
But only Amazon knows the real plan. And so far, the company won’t say what its future plans might be.
“We’re working hard to get back in stock as quickly as possible,” an Amazon spokesman told Fortune. “I’m not able to speculate on future plans or our roadmap.”