Sonos CEO apologises but will not provide software updates for legacy products

At the same time, he pledged to provide bug fixes and security patches for 'as long as possible'.
Written by Campbell Kwan, Contributor

Sonos CEO Patrick Spence has published an apology in response to the announcement earlier this week that the company would no longer provide software updates for some of its products.

The company had announced on Tuesday that the plug would be pulled on all Sonos Zone Players; the Connect and Connect:Amp; the first-generation Play:5; the CR200 controller; and the Bridge.

In the apology, Spence noted that those devices should "continue to work 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 honour that investment for as long as possible," he said.

The letter added that while the legacy Sonos products will not get new software features, the company would continue to update them with bug fixes and security patches for "as long as possible", as well as provide "an alternative solution" if customers find that something "core to the experience" cannot be addressed.

Read more: When Sonos must sunset, old ZonePlayers will stop getting updates

Spence also addressed users who were concerned about continuing to use the legacy hardware with newer, supported speakers, and whether the newer hardware would also not receive updates. 

"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," Spence wrote.

"We're finalising details on this plan and will share more in the coming weeks."
Prior to the most recent backlash, Sonos came under fire for its "Recycle Mode" that bricked perfectly good hardware, a practice that was criticised as wasteful and environmentally unfriendly. 

It is also currently engaged in a patent lawsuit against Google, with Sonos alleging that the technology giant knowingly copied its patented home speaker technology.

Related Coverage

Sonos One (Gen 2) review: AirPlay 2 with Amazon and Google assistants make this a rocking speaker

Sonos is focused first on the music experience and has proven to excel in this area. With added support for Amazon and Google voice assistants the Sonos One is the speaker to buy for outstanding audio you can control with your phone or tablet.

Why is Sonos dropping support for older speakers, and does the reason hold up?

Bad news for some Sonos users as the company announces it will drop support for some of its older speakers, pulling the plug on future updates and setting them on the road to obsolescence.

Sonos sues Google for patent infringement

The networked audio pioneer claims Google knowingly copied its patented speaker technology.

How IoT betrays us: Today, Sonos speakers. Tomorrow, Alexa and electric cars?

Sonos' abandonment of its legacy customers is precisely what's wrong with IoT.

How to protect your Wi-Fi router, Google Home, Roku, and Sonos speakers from attackers (TechRepublic)

Many connected home and office devices are vulnerable to DNS rebinding attacks. Here's how to keep your network safe.

Editorial standards