The saying goes that once you drive your new car out of the lot, it decreases in value. And if we’re being honest, the same goes for tech. Every year brands put out the next generation of their products and all of us decide we either desperately need the latest and greatest, or we’re simply okay with what we have. And hey, at least we have software updates to look forward to that make us feel like we’re getting something new, even if we’re not.
But sometimes advancements in technology make it impossible to continue providing updates to products without putting them at risk of obsoletion. And now, Sonos has found itself in that exact situation.
Beginning in May, Sonos will no longer be providing updates or new features to devices in the Legacy collection. Affected products include the Bridge, CR200, the first generation Play:5, all Sonos Zone players, and the Connect and Connect:Amps that were manufactured between 2011 and 2015. Some of the oldest products in the lineup date back to 2006, before iPhones or music streaming services were even around. Sonos says those nine products have reached the end of their lifecycle and the best option at this point is to trade them in for something new at a 30 percent discount. The company also promised a minimum of five years worth of updates for products after it stops selling them.
But, as to be expected, people were a little upset and confused by this announcement. Many people thought that their Legacy products would shut down completely but Sonos CEO Patrick Spence cleared things up in a tasteful and apologetic blog post. He writes, “Rest assured that come May, when we end new software updates for our legacy products, they will 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 honor that investment for as long as possible.
Sonos also explained to The Verge that come May, Legacy products will just need to be used in a different way. Consumers who want to continue using these devices will need to separate them from their main Sonos system. If not, both the Legacy products and the entire Sonos system it’s connected to will stop receiving updates.
But this announcement doesn’t mean that Sonos makes products that don’t last, it’s quite the opposite actually. Some of these audio devices are over 10 years old and are made with the same components found in computers and smartphones like a microprocessor, flash memory, and other hardware. And if we’re being honest, not many of us have the same smartphone we had in 2010. So even though this announcement may be a bummer for some people, Sonos is really being transparent and realistic about their decades-old products and giving their customers alternatives that will benefit them in the long run.