Winner and loser of the week: Musk’s millions and the Sonos scandal

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Another week in this crazy world of tech is behind us, and it’s been a lively one. There were several candidates for our loser of the week this week, but when it came to picking a winner, there was one name that stood out. Here are our biggest winners and losers of the last seven days.

Allow me a couple of honorable mentions before we get into this. It was a good week for Huawei this week. The Chinese tech giant seems to have decided to move onto Plan B and is going all-in on it. As negotiations with The White House seem to be going nowhere, Huawei landed in London with some sacks of cash to convince developers to bring their app’s to its AppGallery. Then it struck a deal with Dutch company TomTom to solve its Google Maps problem. I’m excited to see how far Huawei can take this, and if it can break the Apple/Google duopoly on apps. But Huawei is not my winner of the week…

I also want to mention the close runner up as loser of the week, Mr. Jeff Bezos. The Amazon boss has not had a great week, to put it lightly. It was revealed this week that Bezos’ iPhone was hacked in 2018 after he received a WhatsApp message that appeared to have been sent by the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman. If the future king of Saudia Arabia was indeed involved, the revelation would be hugely damaging to all involved. But neither Jeff Bezos or Mohammed bin Salman is my loser of the week this week…

Winner of the Week: Elon Musk

It’s been a glorious week for Tesla founder, Elon Musk. The American electric vehicle manufacturer has soared in value recently and is now worth more than $ 100bn. That’s great news for Musk’s bank balance, with reports suggesting that the often enigmatic face of Tesla is set to receive a payout worth $ 50 billion.

Musk is already worth about $ 30 billion, but reports this week shone light onto a deal Musk signed in March 2018. Back then, Tesla was worth around $ 54 billion. The agreement, which is pretty staggering when you take a closer look at it, states that if Musk can grow Tesla into a $ 650 billion company before 2028, he would trigger payments in stock worth $ 50 billion over the course of the 10-year plan.

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Tesla stock has rocketed since the reveal of the Cybertruck. / © Tesla

Given that Musk has already doubled the value of Tesla under a year since the deal was signed, you wouldn’t bet against him cashing in most, if not all, of that $ 50 billion payout over the next nine years.

Loser of the Week: Sonos

When Sonos announced this week that it would not be supplying software updates and security patches for some of its older speakers, the company sparked consumer outrage. Not only will owners of the company’s first-generation speakers and Sonos Connect and Bridge not be able to update their home audio system soon, but they’ll be blocked from updating newer devices that are connected to the so-called “legacy” products.

Bizarrely, Sonos boasted in the SAME press release that “92 percent of the products we’ve ever shipped are still in use today”. The message here is just incredible. Sonos might as well have said: “We know you are all still using our products, but we’re going to brick them anyway.”

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Your first-gen Sonos speakers are about to be abandoned by the company that knows you still use them! / © AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova

Consumers have, unsurprisingly, been up in arms about this, and I can’t help think that Sonos has made the problem for itself here. Not supplying updates to older speakers is not exactly shocking in this industry, but the way in which the brand communicated the message was totally insane. This is more of a PR disaster than a product scandal, and is easily my blunder of the week.

Who were your winners and losers of the week just gone? Share your opinion below the line.

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