The smart speakers from Deutsche Telekom are getting stupid: on June 30, the company will remove all options for interacting with the speakers via voice control. Both previous assistants – Alexa and Telekom’s own “Hello Magenta” system – will then no longer work on the former smart speakers.
Deutsche Telekom has been providing information about the step on its support website for a few days. “Unfortunately, the offer has not been able to establish itself on the market as hoped. Due to the low number of users, we will no longer invest in voice control via the Telekom Smart Speaker,” it says.
An automatic update is to be installed on the devices on June 30th, which will cut the connection to both voice assistants. The range of functions of the loudspeakers is thus greatly reduced. Telekom points out in its support entry that the Smart Speaker and Smart Speaker Mini can only be used as Bluetooth speakers after the update.
Refunds for newer devices only
An option to refund the purchase price depends on the date of purchase: If you bought your speaker before June 30, 2021, you will not get your money back. Speakers purchased after June 30, 2021 can be returned and refunded. Instructions for this can also be found in the Telekom support entry.
With its smart speakers, Deutsche Telekom wanted to get involved in the market, which is still dominated by Amazon and Google. As a unique selling point, Telekom marketed data protection according to EU standards with servers located in Europe. The launch model, simply called “Smart Speaker”, went on sale in 2019. A year later, Telekom made a second attempt with the “Smart Speaker Mini”. Similar to Amazon’s Echo Dot, it was a smaller, cheaper model. While the large smart speaker cost 150 euros, the mini speaker was available at market launch for 50 euros.