Planned obsolescence: Production runs for smart devices seem to be getting shorter and shorter. Smartphones are a case in point, with new models coming in every year and older ones dropping out after only a few years. Now Google has discontinued Home Max speakers after only three years in production.

If you were hoping to pick up one of Google's Home Max smart speakers for Christmas, forget about it. Not only is the device out-of-stock in the US Google Store, but the company told Engadget it discontinued the line. You may still be able to find them through other vendors, but only while supplies last.

Google had not previously indicated that it had halted production of the speaker, so the retirement comes as a bit of a surprise. The Home Max only made its debut in December 2017 alongside the Home Mini. It seems like a very short run, but Google likely sees its newer Nest Audio speakers as a better replacement. At about half the price, users can pick up two Nest speakers and achieve the same or superior sound quality with a smaller footprint.

In these days of planned obsolescence, discontinuing a product line usually means support for the device is limited to only a few more years. Those who may have only picked up a Home Max this year might be worried that their purchase may soon be ignored. However, Google says that it has no plans to stop providing updates and support for the device.

"Existing Google Home Max users shouldn't worry as they won't see any change in their service," a spokesperson said. "We'll continue to offer software updates and security fixes to Google Home Max devices. We're committed to delivering great sound and whole home audio features across all of our Assistant-enabled products."

Image credit: Hadrian