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Google Hits Back At Sonos As CEO Takes To His Soapbox

Sonos CEO Patrick Spence is back on his soap box this time he is trying to defend why he chose to sue Google however he has not explained why the Company decided to try to nobble loyal customers by trying to cut off their speakers in an effort to get them to buy a new Sonos speaker.

Prior to the debacle that saw the US sound Company back down after 48 hours, the Company was on track delivering an increase in sales.

Their latest financials reveal that the Company increased revenue from US$496 Million to $562 during the peak end of year period. The Company sold 2.9 million units in the period.

It’s not known what impact their recent backflip that saw loyal customers venting their anger with the Company on social media will have on the current quarter. Spence said that overall the amount of money being spent on audio equipment was falling.

“IKEA products really helped in terms of driving a record number of new homes that we were able to get into,” Chief Executive Patrick Spence told MarketWatch.

The company has forecast US $1.365 billion to $1.4 billion in revenue.

Some analysts are tipping that Sonos is setting themselves up to be sold like the way that Fitbit was able to attract a takeover offer from Google.

ChannelNews understands that the audio manufacturer could be hit by the Coronavirus due to the bulk of their products being manufactured in China.

The Company has started manufacturing in Malaysia with an expectation that it will be fully operational there by the end of the year.

Spence said that he expects the coronavirus to have “minimal impact” on Sonos’s business, he said, but he added that the company is monitoring the situation.

Spence has not elaborated on the Company’s decision to end software updates for some older speaker models, a move that would also mean that customers with both older and newer models wouldn’t get updates to their newer models either if those were connected to the same system.

The company has admitted it didn’t communicate the policy effectively or explain why consumers should invest in a proprietary sound system when competitors are delivering superior 24-bit sound systems using Google and Amazon voice activated systems.

Defending the speaker maker’s decision to sue Google over patent infringement. Spence said, “I’m not going to sit back and let people take what we invented and just copy it,” Spence told CNBC.

He said that the Companies decision to sue Google over patent infringement was born of necessity. Google has said that they have done “nothing wrong”.

Google said “Sonos ″has made misleading statements about our history of working together. Our technology and devices were designed independently.”

Sonos sued Google in early January for patent infringement, arguing the search engine giant used technology developed by Sonos that allows smart speakers to wirelessly play music across different rooms.

In particular, the lawsuit claims Google obtained knowledge of Sonos technology in 2013, when the two companies collaborated to bring Google’s streaming music service to Sonos speakers.

Sonos claims that two years later in 2015, Google began wilfully infringing Sonos’s patents when it launched its first wireless multi-room audio product, Chromecast Audio,” claims the lawsuit, which was filed in Los Angeles.

In a statement in January, Google disputed the allegations, saying that “over the years, we have had numerous ongoing conversations with Sonos about both companies’ IP rights and we are disappointed that Sonos brought these lawsuits instead of continuing negotiations in good faith.”

The Sonos CEO said he wasn’t concerned about how a long-running lawsuit might impact the company’s balance sheet or any of its existing partnerships with Google and other players.

“We’re strong financially. We’re innovating and executing very, very well,” said Spence. “But I’m not going to sit back and let people take what we invented and just copy it. That’s why we’ve invested in patents.”

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