Apple HomePods have reached a few, and seems like there is an issue that no one could have expected. When kept on wooden surfaces, the HomePod speakers are reportedly discoloring them, and leaving a white ring stain.
— Casey Newton (@CaseyNewton) February 14, 2018
According to multiple reports, the silicone base of the HomePod leaves behind a white ring stain on wooden surfaces. Apple says that these rings are a result of the oils diffused between the speaker’s vibration-dampening silicone base and the wood. In a statement to Wirecutter, an Apple representative said that the “marks can improve over several days after the speaker is removed from the wood surface.” In case the stain doesn’t go away, the company recommends “cleaning the surface with the manufacturer’s suggested oiling method.”
It is currently not clear if the problem affects all HomePods or just the initial batch given away to reviewers. While Apple is acknowledging this issue, it doesn’t really call it a design flaw. Instead, it is asking users to keep the HomePod on a different surface. This is quite unfortunate especially since the HomePods are not meant to be kept on soft surfaces. The speaker’s tweeters fire down, so putting it on cloth is likely to mess up with the reflectivity of the sound.
While this issue has no doubt surprised many, it has also not gone down well with Apple enthusiast. Daring Fireball’s John Gruber writes, “Anyone who runs into this should be outraged. Apple has been making products that go on shelves and tables for years… and I’ve never seen a report of damage to a surface. This seems like an issue that should have been caught during the period where HomePod was being widely tested at home by many Apple employees.”