Well, I think there would be a couple of reasons here for the change in approach going forward and given the significant changes in downsizing, how I might look at it. First, assuming your friend lived in a house prior to the move, then I would assume he no longer has the space to incorporate his previous system and secondly, being in a condo, he couldn't crank up the volumes anymore to maximize the use of what he had. I know, anyway, that is how I would feel taking in to account there is now people living just on the other side of those walls.
The fact still remains that the Bose stuff is relatively expensive and there are other options out there. Speaking of the "Wave" radio, a couple of months ago I picked up an internet radio for the kitchen that along with assorted streaming and connectivity options, has access to thousands of stations. In addition, it is in stereo with a small downward firing subwoofer that even connecting an inexpensive CD player, it sounds equally as good as the Bose for half the price.