Pono Will Likely Exit Hardware Market

Posted on 13th January, 2015

Pono Will Likely Exit Hardware Market

Almost as soon as Young's Pono crowd-funded players have been delivered around the world, at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Young has hinted that Pono may exit the hardware market “sooner rather than later”.

The initial Pono hardware was produced in a joint venture with respected U.S based Hi-Fi company Ayre Acoustics, and manufactured in China.

At first glance it seemed Pono was about producing a mainstream marketed portable player for playback of high-resolution audio files. However it's becoming apparent that Pono's long-term focus may actually be its PonoMusic store. When asked whether Pono as a company wants to continue making their own hardware, Young replied: “Not really. This is just so people can see what can be done. I would welcome the chance to have another company make this player.”

Young continued that Pono will offer licensing of their technology to other hardware companies, “It can say ‘certified Pono’ or it can say ‘branded Pono’. Those are the two things we offer, and neither of them are very expensive.”

But without the Pono hardware/player, what is Pono other than another contender fighting for market share in a growing stable of online high-res audio stores? Between Sony, Astell&Kern, FiiO and many other portable high-res players, there is already a great choice for a player that fits in your pocket better than a Toblerone.

Perhaps Young is banking on his network of muso mates and record labels to offer a substantially larger library of high-res music to the market? The big players in the online music business, Apple and Amazon will surely be watching closely.

Hang on to your Pono players folks, they really may be limited editions.

Marc Rushton's avatar

Marc Rushton

English born but now residing down under, StereoNET’s Founder is still buried deep in the review room auditioning everything from docks to soundbars, amplifiers and headphones. Marc is also the founder of the International Hi-Fi Show.

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Posted in: Headphones Lifestyle
Tags: pono