In May, #Sonos will stop providing software updates for its oldest products, and they’ll no longer receive any new features. The decision impacts “legacy” devices that are currently part of the company’s trade-up program, including all Sonos Zone Players, the Connect and Connect:Amp, the first-generation #Play:5, the #CR200 controller, and the Bridge. It’s important to note that with the #Connect and #Connect:Amp, this only applies to devices manufactured between 2011 and 2015. Newer hardware revisions will continue receiving updates.
“Without new software updates, access to services and overall functionality of your sound system will eventually be disrupted, particularly as partners evolve their technology,” Sonos warned in a blog post today. The company says customers can choose to either keep using these products after support ends — they should continue functioning in the near-term — or replace them with a modern Sonos product at a discount.
Sonos is again stressing that these products have been stretched to their absolute limit, noting that many of them — the oldest were introduced in 2006 — predate the iPhone and streaming music services altogether. Sonos has said it’s committed to providing software updates for five years after it last sold a device directly. The original Play:5, launched in 2009, is the only speaker on the list and thus becomes the first Sonos speaker to reach the end of the line for software support. Everything the company still sells today (including the aging Playbar) should have a long road of software updates to come.
Sonos tells The Verge publication that beginning in May, it will introduce a way for customers who want to keep using their legacy hardware to separate those old products from their main Sonos system. You’ll want to do this splitting off step because once a device stops receiving updates, so does your entire Sonos system. Every speaker and other Sonos component in a system is meant to run the same software version to ensure they all work nicely together. But this is the first time that software support is ending, so some Sonos systems will get stuck on whatever software they’re running in May — unless customers quarantine the older gadgets into a secondary network. This software flow is still being developed, and Sonos doesn’t even mention that the option is coming on its FAQ page.
Sonos thinks legacy devices should all continue working even after software updates stop coming. But where the company foresees trouble is with streaming services. If a partner like Spotify makes an SDK change that calls for more powerful hardware, these older products might get left behind. The Play:5 at least has an aux input for external audio sources. But when the others eventually break, that’s it.
Source: The Verge