Lots of action is happening around the Amazon Echo this week, and the latest development is a doozy: the flagship smart speaker is out of stock in the US.
The Amazon Echo smart speaker in black is listed as “currently unavailable” on Amazon for the first time we’ve seen outside of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. TechCrunch was first to make the spot.
While it was available at our first check, the white Amazon Echo is out of stock now as well.
A check of Amazon UK shows the Amazon Echo in stock in both colors, so this isn’t a global pulling of the device. However, it raises a few questions.
Namely, is an out-of-stock Amazon Echo a sign the online retail giant is preparing to launch the Amazon Echo 2? That can’t be ruled out.
Making room for Amazon Echo 2?
Amazon has held a number of significant Amazon Echo sales in recent months, with the biggest a 50% price reduction on Amazon Prime Day (July 11).
Many, including your friends at TechRadar, saw this in particular as a means for Amazon to clear out inventory of the speaker to make way for the next-generation model.
Then yesterday, as Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods was finalized, shoppers noticed Amazon Echo and Echo Dot speakers on sale in select supermarkets.
The prices of the Echo and Echo Dot were reduced by $80 and $5, respectively, in stores and online. This raised eyebrows as potentially another sign Amazon might be looking to get the Echo, which was released in 2015, off of shelves. The Amazon Echo Dot is still in stock online.
Now, Amazon may simply be facing significant demand for the Echo because of these price cuts, and it took Echo sales offline in order to catch up with orders.
Or, Amazon could have an upgraded Echo 2 waiting in the wings. The possibly sleeker speaker is rumored to debut in the fall, or between September and December.
With Apple HomePod launch scheduled for December, it’s likely Amazon will want to get a jump with any updated smart speaker it has planned.