Hey Siri, ...


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- Hey Siri, can I have a HomePod today?
- Hey Siri, can I get a HomePod subwoofer?
- Hey Siri, can I get a HomePod 5.1 system?
- Hey Siri, does HomePod sound as good as a SONOS PLAY:5?
- Hey Siri, do you have an Ethernet port? (Or do I need something from Apple Dongle Universe?)
- Hey Siri, can I use Alexa, Google Home or Cortana?
- Hey Siri, play a track from Spotify
- Hey Siri, play a track from Deezer
- Hey Siri, play a track from Tidal
- Hey Siri, play a track from Amazon Music
- Hey Siri, OK, play a track from anywhere other than Apple Music
- Hey Siri, play a track from one of my local music collections
- Hey Siri, can I plug in my turntable?
- Hey Siri, can you create your own dedicated WiFi network?
- Hey Siri, is there an Android controller app.?
- Hey Siri, …

Siri says ‘No’.

I love all my Apple gear, in which I have much more money invested than in Sonos. I’m sure HomePod will be very nice and will take sales away from Sonos and others. However, depending on what you want to do, there’s really some clear water between what Sonos has today, what Sonos will have once Alexa integration lands, and what Apple won’t even have for another six months (at least).

Innovation is good. Competition is good. Growing the market is good.

38 replies

Well said.
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I imagine there are a ton of customers out there who won't give a crap about your questions or even understand why they are important. All they want is Apple, so if it works with everything Apple, that's what they want.

As far as the market goes, it's quite possible that everyone increases sales this year since the 'need' for a voice assistant/multi-room/wireless audio is increasing.
Just 18% of smartphones shipped last quarter had iOS installed. 80% had Android. As always, Apple is overhyped.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2017/2/16/14634656/android-ios-market-share-blackberry-2016
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I can't stand the looks of Android, Material Design included. Android is weak at its core and it is a stolen product.

The only reason Android has the biggest market share is because it's free.
Apple makes over 90% of that industry profits with their "small" marketshare.

I have no issues with the Apple EcoSystem.
But you have to admit that you may not be concerned with market share, profit share means nothing to a company like Sonos when compared to the weight given to actual market share. So even if one brings a secondary point about average income of an Apple user vs. Android to the party, chicks point about overall market share is valid and applicable.
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Of course but SONOS is large enough to cover the cost of their global operations and be profitable.
The question is what does the future hold for them.
They could be content now (and profitable) but the marketplace won't let them rest so they must continue to grow.
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Of course but SONOS is large enough to cover the cost of their global operations and be profitable.
The question is what does the future hold for them.
They could be content now (and profitable) but the marketplace won't let them rest so they must continue to grow.


Sonos has said the exact same thing. They have said that they must get involved with voice control and have promised to do something with Amazon this year. Amazon being the biggest player in the market right now...not Apple. Honestly, I can't imagine the people who want SONOS and want Homepod is probably rather small since there is a lot of feature overlap. I would also imagine (I don't know) that of the 3, Amazon, Google, and Apple...Apple would be the one who least wants to do business with Sonos because of the feature overlap (which Apple created by the way).

I'm just not seeing why Sonos needs to drop everything and do whatever Apple fans want, at the expense of everything else, or fear going out of business.
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Because the most vocal Apple users are passionate and are on forums demanding things.
I thought the SONOS owners were too but I am starting to realize they do a lot of winning but it isn't the same level of affection for the brand you might find with Amex, BMW or Apple.
Apple users call the company, they call SONOS, they fill out feedback forms and track down executives to send unsolicited emails... :)

This voice command craze is novel and is driving the sales of gizmos.
It comes in waves, people go out and spend money on toys they won't be using 3 years from now.
Who can blame some companies for wanting to let the dust settle?
It's risky though because for some it will mean being left behind.
Even then, anyone can leap forward and introduce an amazing product to stage a comeback. SONOS will prob. delight its customer base soon.

This trend will be good for SONOS. I talk to regular people and it is true: they don't really enjoy music let alone have a multiroom set-up at home. In those cases though, the price objection comes up immediately. It takes a tech respect/ inclination to look past that.

I cringed when Patrick Spence (a former RIM exec) explained he looked to his kids (with the Amazon dots or whatever it was) to catch a glimpse into the future/ what's trendy. All these execs say the same thing, I have heard that from VC execs too. The difference is that the latter operate on a momentum strategy whereas companies like SONOS are in the business of shaping that future.

@melvimbe I am curious, do you use any Apple product(s)?
people go out and spend money on toys they won't be using 3 years from now..Could that perhaps be on account of planned obsolescence by the manufacturer? Now, I wonder which company immediately springs to mind... hmm....
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people go out and spend money on toys they won't be using 3 years from now..Could that perhaps be on account of planned obsolescence by the manufacturer? Now, I wonder which company immediately springs to mind... hmm....


Are you sure you meant company (singular)?

Whirlpool?


🙂
Can't comment on US home appliances. Nice German ones last for years if not decades.

It always amazes me how happy the true followers are to dispose of perfectly functional pieces of hardware, at the behest of their Cupertino masters.
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Here is a fascinating read (Engadget and The Verge are usually not this insighful when they are busy serving puff pieces):

https://www.engadget.com/2017/06/07/how-apple-reinvigorated-its-ai-aspirations-in-under-a-year/

This piece goes into the dynamics of AI behind the scenes. It's a very small world and its participants are anchored in academia and bent on "publishing"/ sharing... so annoying...
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Can't comment on US home appliances. Nice German ones last for years if not decades.

It always amazes me how happy the true followers are to dispose of perfectly functional pieces of hardware, at the behest of their Cupertino masters.



Mentalities are different in Europe RE: material possessions and money.

Cars and home go through the same shorter ownership cycles here in the US.
It's a combination of planned obsolescence, marketing and easy access to financing. Everything can be had for a "low monthly"payment!" :)

Beyond the fact that you are dealign with people who love tech and therefore are more inclined to get the "latest", the introduction of new features are worth the update. Maybe not every year personally but you stand to benefit from the advances of tech every 2-3 years for sure. The relatively high resale value of Apple helps you get rid of toys to get the newest one.


How did you witness it personally?
I think its great that so many Sonos users are "Sonos Fanboys" - including me. But bashing Apple/Android is misdirected.
Should we be asking Sonos "what's the plan?" or drag Apple through the mud for actually releasing a product to avid music listeners?

I've come to accept that Sonos is no more a "high-tech" firm than Denon or Klipsch. Sonos is a music appliance manufacturer. Yes, their appliance was revolutionary when it appeared almost 15 years ago. Since then they've iterated the same basic appliance - all logical extensions of the original ("Now with a bigger speaker!" and "Now with a smaller speaker!").

I would love for Sonos to integrate with the Apple/Amazon/Google ecosystems. I don't want them to develop their own Alexa competitor. That ship has sailed, and if they announce that they're building their own version of the Echo, then we'll all know the company has jumped the shark.

The real crime here is that Sonos is acting like a high-tech firm (keeping future product development a BIG secret) and failing to provide guidance or a roadmap because they want to own first-mover advantage. That makes a lot of sense if you're Apple or Google, but could you imagine Klipsch saying "we aren't telling you what we're doing next, but we promise it will be big" - and then releasing a Bluetooth 4.0 speaker? What's the secret in that. It's a logical extension of their product line.

Sonos should put a stake in the ground and say "We are committed to working with Amazon. We'll release that integration on October 1, 2017. Some of you may say it's a little late, but we wanted to do it right. Thanks for your commitment to our platform."

The ONLY reason for their secrecy is that a) they aren't as good at product development as they should be and can't forecast accurately; or b) they are building their own voice-enabled services; or c) they are STILL wringing their hands internally trying to figure out what they're doing. ALL THREE are concerning.

I've got thou$sand$ invested in the Sonos platform and I love my system, but I'm also fatigued at waiting for Sonos to catch up to literally "every major audio company" in releasing a voice-controlled music solution.

We should be encouraging Sonos to move quickly, share their plans with their CUSTOMERS, and then execute on their plans. At this point, Sonos' ecosystem isn't meeting the needs of the market. They're behind. And they are unlikely to leap ahead of the competition in the "smart speaker" space. So there is more risk in saying nothing (which risks Sonos customers moving away from the platform) than making a firm announcement (and at least temporarily freezing that decision until the new Sonos product/offering is released).

I'm calling "Bad Leadership" on the Sonos executive team. And you should too.
Sigh. Yet another one who knows nothing about the software development process. :8
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Thousands is no longer a "lot" of money and you'll have no problems selling your SONOS gear to help pay for something else.

But don't worry @TyBrewer SONOS have stated they will work with all voice platforms the way they work with all music services.

Amazon Voice efforts exec just stated that he'd like for Alexa and Sir to be able to talk to each other.

Fascinating times...

It always amazes me how happy the true followers are to dispose of perfectly functional pieces of hardware, at the behest of their Cupertino masters.

Every thrift store in the USA is loaded down with gadgets sporting Apple's obsoleted 30-pin connector. Will Apple do it again, and move to USB-C?

BTW, I've visited the thrifts for years (vintage hi-fi, fix and sell as a hobby). Have seen tons of obsolete Apple gear, but zero Sonos gear.
@jgatie, attacking the arguer instead of the argument. Yet another one who knows nothing about debate.
(PS - software developer here) 😃
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@Temperamental

No, I do not currently own any apple products. I certainly have in the past though. I've owned ipods and iphones. I dropped them when the Galaxy looked like it did all that Apple could do, but had more flexibility. I have not regretted that decision.

I get that Apple gains a lot of quality by being a closed system, as much as possible, but I also think they are too expensive and don't allow for as much flexibility. I also see why others don't care. If Apple came out with a product that interested me, that did worked with what I already have and did it well, I would seriously look into it.

My kids have an ipod touch and iPhone, but I really don't deal with those much.
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sidenote: As a developer of sorts, I never liked deadlines. It's done when it's done right. You give people a date and they assume you screwed up if it's late, which usually isn't the case. If it's done early, they think you either lied to them, or you are some genius, which isn't the case.

I am good without having a date for delivery. I would be curious to know how the development is going and what it's going to be, but I also understand that people will not understand setbacks and could question feature changes and all that. So go ahead and don't tell me.
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Agreed on deadlines but you need goals and this really is a matter of discussing resources and the most efficient management of said resources. It gets complex for a company even the size of SONOS.
Not to mention that the human factor is such a pain to deal with... are people really as productive as they can be (they all have personal lives/ own motivations etc), do you have the best talent you can possibly get, how complex is technical project etc.

SONOS' implementation of voice command will be centered on Music.

They have given Spotify the ability to send the music to SONOS directly from the Spotify app.
Perhaps it will be the same for Voice Command platforms and Airplay2 & HomeKit.
@jgatie, attacking the arguer instead of the argument. Yet another one who knows nothing about debate.
(PS - software developer here) :D


Ok, if you are a developer. then tell me how Sonos can give a definitive delivery date for a software package that is wholly reliant on coordinated development with a third party, aka Amazon? That is, without opening themselves up to missed deadlines due to factors beyond their control?

By the way, ask Denon what happens when you give deadlines as to when Google Cast, Windows app, or Alexa functionality will be delivered. Then ask yourself if you would be any happier if Sonos gave a date of release and then failed to deliver years/months later.
sidenote: As a developer of sorts, I never liked deadlines. It's done when it's done right. You give people a date and they assume you screwed up if it's late, which usually isn't the case. If it's done early, they think you either lied to them, or you are some genius, which isn't the case.

I am good without having a date for delivery. I would be curious to know how the development is going and what it's going to be, but I also understand that people will not understand setbacks and could question feature changes and all that. So go ahead and don't tell me.


There will always be those who complain. Most people who I see complaining about no definite release dates would be the very first one in here on that release date to complain it's not here. It's what they do.

Hell, there was one guy in here complaining that Sonos announced the Alexa integration too soon and I have no doubt he'd be in here complaining about Sonos having no plans for voice control if they had kept it secret.
@jgatie, Yes, in software development nobody, no matter how good they are, can give a release date and a feature set both with any accuracy. On the other hand, many companies seem to be able to predict this within a quarter or two reliably. Certainly, this far into the development cycle, they should be able to say "Coming in Q4 2017".

And even if they are only 80% confident in that date, from a marketing perspective they should be "holding the market" to keep us Sonos customers from kicking the tires on another platform.

The fact is, in the time since Echo came out, Google, Microsoft and now Apple have all developed products in this space, and numerous other "speaker companies" have built interfaces to those platforms. Heck, Sonos hired an enthusiast who had already coded an Echo/Sonos hack to be a product manager. And that was two years ago.

To put it plainly: I'm not buying any more Sonos gear until I know their strategy to extend their products beyond the functionality they introduced a decade ago.
Presumably Sonos/Alexa development is in private beta right now. Sonos never talks about private beta. In fact, the joke around here is when things get real quiet, you know something is coming. That is their way. Accept it or not.

As to refusing to buy? Meh. I'm sure if they thought their product sales were suffering due to their tight-lipped policy as opposed to being verbose and missing/cancelling deadlines like Denon, they'd change the policy. Personally, in my forays into the public sector, the ones who complain about no deadlines given are the very first to complain about deadlines that are missed, and the ones who publicly threaten to boycott or sell on e-Bay are the ones who never do.

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