Folks over at Sonos Digital have done a good job of pre-hyping their up-coming Music System. They first promised October, then December and now have pushed back the release of the device by another month. I saw the same happen with total hype-driven products from OQO which is now coming out in the market, and will soon be exiting the market. I have often argued that it is very easy to get into the consumer electronics space, but it is very hard to stay in the game. Gateway customers have learned it the hard way. I think this hit-and-miss nature of the consumer business makes it difficult to buy something from start-ups. If I wanted a media center PC, chances are I would go with someone like Alienware or HP and not some pretender. Similarly, a TV is still coming from Samsung and Sony, not from Dell or Gateway or someone else. The Silicon Valley companies are too unreliable as consumer electronics companies. I am sure there is a lot of you out there who are stuck with devices with no support from companies like Sonic Blue.
Anyway back to Sonos: the company says that it is delaying the product because it has to do some fine-tuning the company needs to make in regards to system performance. The company will not have the product to market by the 2004 holiday season. Now this is going to have a financial impact on their business. “Due to the fact that Sonos, Inc. is a privately-funded company, the pressure to make ship before the holidays didn’t exist. Sonos has one opportunity to make an impression on you the media and the buying public – only one chance to make a name for itself. We won’t ship until we are certain that impression will be a positive one,” their spokesperson wrote in an email. Not sure if I am going to wait for them to release a product. Bose, Onkyo or someone more established might have something worthy of my dollars!
From the archives: Here is a link to my quick-and-dirty interview with Tom Cullen, vice president of marketing for Sonos.