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Fixing the HomePod white ring issue should be quite easy for Apple

by Danny Zepeda | February 20, 2018February 20, 2018 10:00 am PST

Apple has run into a bit of a hiccup with the HomePod and the unexpected white rings it has been leaving on wood furniture. It has acknowledged the issue, but that won’t go far in remedying the stains the speaker is leaving behind. Moving the HomePod to non-wood furniture or using a coaster are some of the easy do-it-yourself hacks, but a better fix should be on the way soon.

Business Insider talked to some industrial design experts and asked them why the issue was happening. Their response was simple: it was a quality control error that Apple missed.

“They didn’t test the product enough and in the right variety of circumstances, especially considering that a wood surface is a very likely support for the product,” related Ignazio Moresco, a product design expert.

The reason for the white ring the HomePod has been leaving is the silicone base reacting to the oil-coated wood surface by way of the sound vibrations. A large portion of furniture is wood, and surely Apple should have known that’s where people would be putting their HomePods. Apparently it didn’t have the foresight to see this and the white ring issue has ensued.

“They should have caught the issue if they followed a rigorous QA [quality assurance] process,” continued Moresco.

The ordeal has proven to be more of an annoyance rather than a serious issue, one that should be fixed very soon. Given the prevalence of the issue, Apple is sure to be retooling the silicone base for the HomePod to prevent the white ring reaction.

“It’s an issue, but I think it’s probably going to be one that’ll be corrected in the next round of manufacturing,” offered Cesar Viramontes, Senior Industrial Designer at Y Studios. “I think it will be a minor issue, and people will probably forget about it in the next couple of months when it goes away.”

Fixing the issue shouldn’t be too difficult for Apple. It’s just a matter of tweaking the process with new elastomer, according to Gregor Berkowitz, a product development consultant. Once Apple doest that, it’ll take about anywhere from two to six weeks to update new HomePod units with the non-damaging base. Then the issue will really be a thing of the past.

Danny Zepeda

Born and raised in Southern California, Danny grew up on a steady diet Pixar, Star Wars and Steven Spielberg movies. Unbeknownst to him, this was...