Sonos product owners have been in an uproar since the company’s announcement last Tuesday explaining that a handful of Sonos products, which the company is now calling legacy products, will no longer be receiving updates and features starting May 2020. In addition to that, they said that new speakers that are non-legacy but connected to legacy products would also be affected and would not be receiving any new updates or features.
The list of legacy products include products such as the Bridge, Connect, Connect:Amp, and the first generation Play:5. The cause for this being that the older systems no longer have enough processing power to support newer features. In the announcement, Sonos gave users two options to handle Legacy products. One was to continue using the products and accepting that they will no longer be updated, while the second option would let users return their products, have them bricked, and receive a 30% discount for newer models. These two options further outraged the public resulting in them calling out Sonos for planned obsolescence.
Yesterday, Sonos CEO Patrick Spence released a statement on their official blog to apologize and clarify the previous announcement they made. He reiterates that they will still be ending updates for the legacy products but he does stress that these products will still “continue to work as they do today”. With many users having invested in a multi-speaker Sonos ecosystem, Spence mentions that they intend to honor that investment for as long as they can. Bug fixes and security patches will still be provided to the older models and if they find a more complicated problem, Spence says that Sonos will
“work to offer an alternative solution and let you know about any changes you’ll see in your experience.”
As for the more pressing issue regarding new products also not receiving updates if connected to legacy products, Spence addresses that by saying that the company is working on ways to split the system so that new and old products can work together without voiding updates for the former. Sonos will be making a separate announcement once the plan has been finalized.
Thanks for all the feedback & my apologies for not responding sooner. I wanted to make sure we get it right. All Sonos products will continue to work past May: https://t.co/bmwQQgPd86
— Patrick Spence (@Patrick_Spence) January 23, 2020
Lastly, Sonos addressed the concern in regards to the issue of “planned obsolescence”. The company stresses that it’s not their prerogative to force users to upgrade but rather let them willingly upgrade to newer models because of the abundance of newer features and technology. “That’s the intent of the trade-up program we launched for our loyal customers,” says Spence.