In a statement on Thursday, the Sonos CEO Patrick Spence apologised for the decision and said the company will deliver updates to all products for “as long as possible”.
Earlier in the week, Sonos said it would drop a number of older items, mainly devices purchased between 2006 to 2015, from its update cycle which would lead to some speakers ceasing to work entirely. It offered a discount of 30 per cent for customers who traded in their older devices for newer versions.
The news did not go down well with speaker owners, with some considering quitting Sonos products for good as a result.
Though Sonos hasn’t completely rolled back the decision, the new update should go some way to appeasing fans of the high-end speaker company. Spence said: “Many of you have invested heavily in your Sonos systems, and we intend to honour that investment for as long as possible.
Under the new rules, Sonos will offer fixes for bugs and security patches for older products. However, owners who have systems that include both old and newer speakers will have to set up two speaker groups in their home. At the moment, if a single speaker in a network can no longer receive an update, then it will prevent the rest of the devices from receiving the update.
Spence said the company is working on a way for customers to split these systems so the speakers still work together but receive the appropriate updates for each device.
Tech companies regularly remove older devices from update cycles. Recently, Microsoft removed support for Windows 7 after it had been in use for 10 years.
Customers can upgrade to Windows 10 on their devices but as the older computers and laptops were not built with the newer software in mind, the company warned owners may face issues with their computers following the upgrade.
In addition, Apple often removes support for older iPhones when it announces a new iOS. When iOS 13 was released last September it dropped the iPhone 6 and 5S devices from the upgrade cycle.
The issue with the Sonos speakers though mainly stems from the fact that customers will connect different Sonos products in different rooms of their house to create a multi-room wireless speaker network. By removing software updates from the older products, it was effectively forcing customers to buy new speakers in order to not render this system obsolete.
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