Apple admits HomePod leaves wooden furniture with a strange white ring

UPDATE: Apple has updated its support page with a statement on the matter. It says the issue is being caused by a reaction between the silicon base and the wooden surfaces being damaged.

The company says the issue pertains to oils defusing between the wooden base and the table surface and claims it is common among speakers with silicone bases. The firm says the rings will go away after several says, once the speaker has been removed from the surface.

The support page says: “It is not unusual for any speaker with a vibration-dampening silicone base to leave mild marks when placed on some wooden surfaces.”

“The marks can be caused by oils diffusing between the silicone base and the table surface, and will often go away after several days when the speaker is removed from the wooden surface.”

Original story continues below…

The Apple HomePod speaker is damaging the wooden furniture of early adopters, according to multiple reports and reviews. Now the company itself has confirmed the worrying issue.

HomePod owners took to Twitter after white rings were left on wooden tables and worktop surfaces in the exact shape of the speaker’s bottom ring.

You can see the evidence below:

The Wirecutter and other publications cited the issue in its tests and now an Apple spokesperson has weighed in with a remarkable statement, admitting the flaw.

The spokesperson said “the marks can improve over several days after the speaker is removed from the wood surface.”

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If the stains don’t go away on their own, Apple is advising users to refinish their furniture. It told users to “try cleaning the surface with the manufacturer’s suggested oiling method.”

This Twitter user said the damage only took 20 minutes.

At the time of writing the firm is not issuing a recall, nor it offering customers refunds or compensation for damage. It is also yet to comment on what might be causing the issue, but it appears to be a secretion of some kind, rather than a burn.

The issue only appears to be affecting wooden furniture, with tests showing no damage when the HomePod is placed on other materials.

The Wirecutter said “glass, granite countertop, nice MDF, polyurethane-sealed wood, and cheap IKEA bookcases,” were all immune to the damage during its tests.

The statement shows not an awful lot has changed at Apple since the late Steve Jobs told iPhone 4 users concerned about the ‘Antennagate’ flaw to ‘just told it differently’. Of course, that controversy would take on a life of its own.

Our own HomePod review is still ongoing and we’ll have a score for you in the coming days.

Will this stop you buying a HomePod? Does Apple need to do more to prevent a full scale crisis here? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.