News speaker update scandal

Sonos CEO Patrick Spence has apologised to angry customers who have been told their older speaker systems will no longer receive system updates from May 2020. The announcement, made on 21


January, stated that legacy products including original Zone Players, Connect, and Connect:Amp (launched in 2006; includes versions sold until 2015), fi rst- generation Play:5 (launched 2009) (pictured), CR200 (launched 2009), and Bridge (launched 2007) will no longer receive software updates or new features. Up to date Sonos systems which include any one of the heritage products listed above could also miss out on updates, the announcement warned.

In the statement, Sonos gave two options – continue to use the products until they lose functionality or upgrade for a 30 per cent discount. Livid Sonos fans expressed their fury,

with some saying they felt punished “for being an early adopter and champion of Sonos products”. Others said they would now boycott the California-based brand. In

response to the backlash, Mr

Spence was forced to issue an apology in which he tried to reassure customers, saying that the affected products 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,” he said. Mr Spence said that while legacy

Loewe back in business

German TV brand, Loewe, is back in business. Investment company, Skytec, took over the company in December and has reported it will take over some factory space at the company HQ in Kronach with 45 new employees.

The new management team said it is working hard to restore the supply chains so that from April 2020 most of Loewe’s well known portfolio can be offered again, with a team of nine sales staff added from next month. In order to restart production, Loewe has partnered with LG Display and other manufacturers to ensure that most of the current Loewe portfolio can be be made available. Vladislav Khabliev, CEO of Skytec, commented: “After the takeover of Loewe, we very quickly sought contact with suppliers and industrial partners and received extremely positive feedback and comprehensive support.” This support also comes from Hisense, which also offered to take over Loewe last year after the brand was declared bankrupt in July.

Mr Khabliev confi rmed the ambitious schedule for the introduction of new products, with a plan to also exhibit at IFA 2020. The line-up is set to include both TV sets and a brand-new portfolio of audio products. With a view to trade, the launch of a new platform for Loewe after-sales and support services is also planned for IFA 2020. This should also be rolled out to other European countries. “We want to get started quickly with

the development of new products at the traditional location in Kronach,” added Mr Khabliev. “Our goal is to reposition Loewe as an international premium brand for sophisticated consumer electronics. Until then, we can now guarantee continuity with the trade, end customers and fans. This is also a strong signal to our retail partners who can continue to rely on Loewe when it comes to stylish entertainment and iconic design.”

boss sorry over

Sonos products won’t get new software features, the company pledges to keep them updated with bug fi xes 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,” he said. On the frustration over new Sonos speakers potentially being caught up in a no-update scenario if twinned with legacy ones, Mr Spence said the company is “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”.

Mr Spence continued: “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.

“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.”

Nick Knowles makes “The Difference” in Euronics ad

Nick Knowles, the star of BBC’s DIY SOS, has fronted Euronics’s ‘The Difference’ Winter Campaign, which has featured extensively across the nation’s TV screens, newspapers, radio, online and social media during the Christmas and New Year periods. “We’re delighted with our Winter Campaign that’s reached an audience of millions over the past few weeks,” commented Stuart Cook, CEO of CIH, part of Euronics.

“In the campaign, we’ve spelt out

the reasons why a Euronics retailer is special – our independence, our know-how, our local heritage on the high street and our buying power and how that all comes together to bring signifi cant benefi ts to the UK consumer. Nick Knowles [pictured embodies

that same community

spirit that’s in the DNA of a Euronics retailer. He’s an authentic and trusted personality who shares many of our values, and was the perfect choice as the face and voice of this campaign.” The advert was shot entirely

on location at multiple Euronics stores.

The campaign connects the customer with the local service and family values provided by Euronics agents and explains why choosing a Euronics retailer will get customers the brands they love, with the service they expect at the prices they want. CIH said it is confi dent that the brand-building effect will resonate well beyond the campaign period to sustain lasting sales for members.

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