Can Sonos beat back the tech giants?

HARDWARE IS HARD. The electronics-industry adage applies not only to making ever more complex devices but also to selling them at a good price. Even inventive firms fail to ward off commoditisation. Will Sonos, a maker of wireless speakers that went public in August at a value of just under $1.5bn, escape this fate? It is a test case of whether smaller firms can still compete with the giants.

Founded 16 years ago in Santa Barbara, five hours’ drive south of Silicon Valley, the firm’s elegant devices have attracted a loyal following of over 7m households. Many of them still use the speakers they bought years ago and buy new ones on top (nearly two-fifths of buyers already own a Sonos). Yet their most appealing feature is neither design nor longevity, but software. Sonos was the first to make wireless speakers that are easy to set up, even across multiple rooms. And it often upgrades its products with new features over the internet...

via Business Feeds

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