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The apology from Sonos CEO Patrick Spence, who recently sued Google for stealing his company's speaker technology, also said the company will continue to provide updates and bug fixes to its legacy equipment to meet customer demand, even though those products will no longer receive new software updates.
"We heard you," Spence wrote in a letter to customers. "We did not get this right from the start. My apologies for that and I wanted to personally assure you of the path forward: First, 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," Spence added. "Many of you have invested heavily in your Sonos systems, and we intend to honor that investment for as long as possible. While legacy Sonos products won’t get new software features, we pledge to keep them updated with bug fixes and security patches for as long as possible."
Spence continued to say Sonos plans to meet other customer demands for coexisting modern and legacy speakers.
"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," he explained. "We’re finalizing details on this plan and will share more in the coming weeks."
"Well I guess that's the last Sonos kit I'll ever buy," wrote one user. "Any other manufacturers want to cash in on this? 30 [percent] trade up to your brand to steal me away from someone who wants to stealth-kill my hardware with software updates?"
Another user said the company made a "huge mistake" by alienating its older customers.
"Sonos, huge mistake. Oldest customers should be your best advocates -- now alienated , new customers will not trust the Sonos brand & will buy alternatives - your marketing disaster killing certain products should be reversed NOW. #sonosfail," he tweeted.
Hashtags such as #SonosFail, #Sonosgate and #SonosBoycott were trending on Twitter after the announcement, leading Spence to issue the apology and a more accommodating plan.