Is Apple about to buy smart speaker giant Sonos?

Sonos Move
The Sonos Move portable smart speaker. (Image credit: Sonos)

Is Apple about to buy Sonos? It's possible, and even "likely" according to investment expert Andrew Left, of Citron Research

In a new report, Left asserts that Sonos has "quickly emerged as the leader of sound in the connected home", and that the company is beating the likes of Amazon, Google, and Apple at their own game "by dominating the connected home speaker category" with popular models like the Sonos One – AKA, the best smart speaker of 2020.

Sonos' domination of the smart speaker market is in stark contrast to Apple's performance with the Apple HomePod, which was met with underwhelming sales when it launched in 2018. 

The success of Sonos, Left argues, could make it a very attractive acquisition prospect for Apple, perhaps paving the way for a new legion of Apple smart speakers with Sonos tech built-in. 

Harnessing the smarts and audio fidelity of the Sonos One, Sonos Move, and Sonos Arc could certainly give the rumored Apple HomePod 2 an edge over the competition.

There are benefits for Sonos, too; since Left published his report, shares in the wireless speaker company have surged by 22%.

United ecosystems

The idea of a Sonos smart speaker that sits seamlessly within Apple's ever-expanding ecosystem sounds pretty great, particularly as the two companies share a similar outlook when it comes to marketing its products.

Like Apple, Sonos has a strong ecosystem that makes buying multiple speakers a far more attractive prospect for consumers. That's thanks to slick multi-room pairing, Wi-Fi-based wireless connectivity, and a rigid design aesthetic that means all of its products look like they're meant to be used together. Sound familiar? 

A Sonos-Apple partnership could be mutually beneficial – and we know that Apple has snapped up potential rivals in the past. 

Back in 2014, Apple acquired Beats in 2014 for an astonishing $3 billion – and that partnership has gone from strength to strength, with the success of the Beats Powerbeats Pro and Apple's own true wireless earbuds, the AirPods and the AirPods Pro

Whether Apple really does buy Sonos remains to be seen, but it's an exciting prospect – and we'd love to see a Sonos-powered HomePod on the market in 2021.

Via Business Insider

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.