CEO Response & Our Take on Things to Come

This past week SONOS sent out an announcement to its users that they would end software updates on their legacy products. Each customer’s email included the products they registered with SONOS that would be discontinued. As a result, we received more than a dozen emails and phone calls from our customers regarding their SONOS, which we did respond to one-to-one. However, for those who do have SONOS that didn’t already receive an email from H&ONS, here is additional information.

As a result of the SONOS announcement, social media blasted SONOS and on January 23rd the CEO of SONOS responded with this email to its customers.

We heard you. We did not get this right from the start. My apologies for that and I wanted to personally assure you of the path forward:

First, rest assured that come May, when we end new software updates for our legacy products, they will continue to work just as they do today. We are not bricking them, we are not forcing them into obsolescence, and we are not taking anything away. Many of you have invested heavily in your Sonos systems, and we intend to honor that investment for as long as possible. While legacy Sonos products won’t get new software features, we pledge to keep them updated with bug fixes and security patches for as long as possible. If we run into something core to the experience that can’t be addressed, we’ll work to offer an alternative solution and let you know about any changes you’ll see in your experience.

Secondly, we heard you on the issue of legacy products and modern products not being able to coexist in your home. We are working on a way to split your system so that modern products work together and get the latest features, while legacy products work together and remain in their current state. We’re finalizing details on this plan and will share more in the coming weeks.

While we have a lot of great products and features in the pipeline, we want our customers to upgrade to our latest and greatest products when they’re excited by what the new products offer, not because they feel forced to do so. That’s the intent of the trade up program we launched for our loyal customers.

Thank you for being a Sonos customer. Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback. I hope that you’ll forgive our misstep, and let us earn back your trust. Without you, Sonos wouldn’t exist and we’ll work harder than ever to earn your loyalty every single day.

If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,
Patrick

Patrick Spence
CEO, Sonos

Things to Come: The biggest trigger to change is something that is out of Sonos’s control. If Spotify or Pandora updates their program and the update requires more processing power then what is in the older equipment, then their streaming service may not be able to be used on that device. It is the same as having to buy a new PC because it has become slow due to the new/updated programs installed on it. When that point comes, then the decision will need to be made to upgrade to the new equipment, change manufacturers, etc. This scenario plays out quite a lot with older Blu-Ray players no longer supporting Netflix and Amazon. The old devices (and newer cheap devices) just don’t have the horsepower to run the apps.

We live in a disposable world and can only hope we buy something that will last. But, unlike a refrigerator that isn’t connected to anything else within your household, entertainment systems tie in to so many external sources that as they change, the risk of the hardware becoming obsolete increases.

For now, there appears to be nothing to worry about with SONOS supporting your legacy products, even after May. But as external streaming software changes, you may want to start putting a little money aside for upgrading those connected devices when they no longer have the power to keep up.