Over the past few hours there have been many thousands of comments made in a common vein i.e. Sonos has chosen to cease software updates to several legacy products causing significant hurt and disappointment to its loyal customer base.
Like a huge number of (previously) loyal Sonos customers, I am now worried about how I move forward and Sonos has not made any effective announcements to face up to this significant change in strategic direction. The 30% discount is not a reasonable proposal now that we know the life span of Sonos products may be so short.
Several customers have pointed out that we took comfort from the statement made by Mike Groeninger 18 months ago:
“People are used to buying commodity tech that needs to be replaced, but we’re differentiated because our product persists,”
Mike Groeninger, VP Sonos’ Corporate Finance
Customers believed this. I think a public statement is now required to clarify how Sonos are going to treat customers in future.
How long will products remain “modern”?
Can we expect Sonos to adopt a cyclical strategy of all hardware being replaced, at significant cost to us, the customers, every few years?
Is Sonos committed to Android and for what term?
Alternatively, in an attempt to be constructive in this very depressing and negative environment let me propose an alternative:
Introducing “Sonos Traditional”
Why can’t Sonos offer the option to continue with our current Sonos products, lets call them “Sonos Traditional”, using a parallel software development stream to maintain existing functionality, possibly with some innovation and preserve our hardware investment to date.
“Sonos Traditional” will potentially lose out on some future features which cannot be accommodated on the existing range of hardware.
Surely Sonos could continue to offer a “Sonos Traditional” range of compatible hardware?
One could opt to stick with the current level of functionality and the opportunity to replace any failing “Sonos Traditional” equipment or even extend it with confidence is very appealing.
* * *
Sonos could continue to evolve along their chosen new “throw away” strategic direction with an exciting range of new kit and functionality which they can market to a suitable sector of the market. This kit can evolve or become redundant as the introduction of exciting new features dictates.
In the future, who knows, I may even choose to invest in this exciting new world of Sonos if attractive new functionality emerged that justified an additional investment and it could not be delivered to my “Sonos Traditional” hardware due to technical constraints.
This, as a strategic direction, would be much more attractive to many and preferable to the current situation.
I would love to hear your thoughts on the foregoing Sonos.