Sonos CEO Patrick Spence sent an email to customers on Thursday apologizing for his decision to stop offering new software features to older so-called "legacy products."
The company faced some backlash online, in places like Reddit forums, after Sonos announced earlier this week that older speakers would no longer receive software updates beginning in May. Some of the older models include the popular first edition Play:5 speaker that was released in 2009.
Sonos also said that, in order for newer models to continue getting software updates, the older speakers would have to be set up into a separate speaker group. It's working on a way to make that possible now.
Spence backtracked a bit on the company's earlier comments, however, noting in his apology email that Sonos will now continue to issue bug fixes and security fixes for as long as possible.
"If we run into something core to the experience that can't be addressed, we'll work to offer an alternative solution and let you know about any changes you'll see in your experience," Spence said.
Here's the full apology email:
We heard you. 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 just 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. 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. If we run into something core to the experience that can't be addressed, we'll work to offer an alternative solution and let you know about any changes you'll see in your experience.
Secondly, 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. We're finalizing details on this plan and will share more in the coming weeks.
While we have a lot of great products and features in the pipeline, we want our customers to upgrade to our latest and greatest products when they're excited by what the new products offer, not because they feel forced to do so. That's the intent of the trade up program we launched for our loyal customers.
Thank you for being a Sonos customer. Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback. I hope that you'll forgive our misstep, and let us earn back your trust. Without you, Sonos wouldn't exist and we'll work harder than ever to earn your loyalty every single day.
If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to contact us.