Jon Chase, in Wirecutter’s review of HomePod:
An unhappy discovery after we placed a HomePod on an oiled
butcher-block countertop and later on a wooden side table was that
it left a defined white ring in the surface. Other reviewers and
owners (such as Pocket-lint, and folks on Twitter) have
reported the same issue, which an Apple representative has
confirmed. Apple says “the marks can improve over several days
after the speaker is removed from the wood surface,” and if they
don’t fade on their own, you can basically just go refinish the
furniture — the exact advice Apple gave in an email to Wirecutter
was to “try cleaning the surface with the manufacturer’s suggested
oiling method.” This really undermines the design aspect of the
HomePod — especially if you were thinking of displaying it on
some prized piece of furniture — and it will surely be a sore
point for many potential buyers. In other testing, we have seen no
visible damage when using it on glass, granite countertop, nice
MDF, polyurethane-sealed wood, and cheap IKEA bookcases. We also
tested the HomePod in the same place a Sonos One regularly lives
— and the Sonos hasn’t caused damage in months of use.
I haven’t seen anything like this, but I haven’t placed a HomePod on stained wood, either. Anyone who runs into this should be outraged. I honestly don’t see how this could happen. Apple has been making products that go on shelves and tables for years — AirPort base stations, Apple TV, various docks — and I’ve never seen a report of damage to a surface. I guess the difference with HomePod is that the base factors into the acoustics, but still, 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.
Update: Federico Viticci:
Like many recent Apple PR debacles, this HomePod ring problem
could have been easily avoided by simply… telling people
Explain how things work. Even the obvious ones. Be proactive.
Don’t wait until people discover issues to spin the narrative back
in your control.
★ Wednesday, 14 February 2018