The HomePod has been getting mixed reviews from critics and the public alike, but there’s now a fresh controversy brewing which will probably make things worse for the speaker. A number of people have to taken to sites like Twitter to complain that it leaves a white ring on wooden surfaces.
As many have pointed out, the fact that a $349 smart speaker is leaving stains on similarly expensive wooden furniture is a big problem. Apple for its part has acknowledged the issue on its support page, but is trying to downplay the problem.
According to Apple, it’s not unusual for any speaker with a vibration-damping silicone base to leave mild marks when put in contact with a wooden surface. This is technically true, since even rivals like the Amazon Echo and Sonos One are known to leave rings behind on wood.
Apple explains that the marks are caused by oils diffusing between the silicon and wood. It claims the blemish will typically go away on its own after several days of separation between the HomePod and the surface. If the ring stays put, owners can wipe the surface gently with a soft damp or dry cloth.
If even this doesn’t work, they can try their hand at cleaning the wood with the furniture manufacturer’s recommended process. It might be best to just keep the HomePod away from wood altogether.
If that’s not an option, dozens of accessory makers have sprung into action to hawk coasters, stands, and bags for the device. It’s surprising that Apple didn’t catch on to this concern before releasing the HomePod. The company is known for its high standards, so this comes across as a glaring misstep.