Visitors to the official Google Store will now see the original Google Home listed as "No longer available," reports indicate. The gadget was previously sold for $129 and represents not only the first Google Home device to ever hit the market. It's also the only mid-size offering put forward by the search giant. Now, following an almost four year run after being made available in November 2016, the cylinder-shaped smart speaker device appears to be entirely discontinued.
It isn't immediately clear whether Google also plans to stop pushing out software updates to the gadget since it's no longer being sold. But that seems unlikely at this point until Google says otherwise.
Google discontinuing the Home isn't unexpected, arrives with other store alterations
Of course, this change is not entirely unexpected. As noted above, the original Google Home smart speaker became available on the Google Store back in 2016. It has since been joined by several Nest-branded devices as part of an overall brand consolidation effort by Google. In effect, the search giant is joining all of its smart home products under the Nest brand. So the discontinuation of this device, if that's what this is, was only a matter of time.
The Google Store itself has undergone some changes as well that seem to align with the halt in Home speaker sales. Namely, the page no longer organizes devices by "type." Prior to the update, for instance, the top row navigation showed a store page for phones, connected home, gaming, and more categories.
Now, the store showcases brands for specific device types. Specifically, it shows Pixel, Nest, Stadia, and Pixelbook as categories — alongside accessories and "Special Offers" categories.
That UI shift was first noted last month when the new interface was spotted under testing. Now, Google seems to have rolled it out more widely and to have dropped the self-branded Home speakers at the same time.
What does this mean for the Google Home brand?
Interestingly, the company appears to be leaving the original Google Home Mini and Home Max alone in the store. Those are still available for purchase, for now. And it's not immediately clear why that's the case. The search giant may be opting to continue selling the gadgets in a bid to diminish back stock. Or it could plan to continue selling those indefinitely.
One other plausible theory is that the company plans to replace the original Google Home with an updated variant. If that's the case, it will almost certainly do so under the Nest branding. As noted above, the device represents the mid-size offering from Google's smart home division. That's in terms of both price point, size, and audio output. It's also its first-launched smart speaker.
But the company has not yet announced a successor.
So it may be that a replacement is incoming and that's why it's clearing out space on the site. But there's no clear indication as to whether that's what's going on here since both Mini and Max devices are still being sold under both the Google and Nest branding.