Apple HomePod owners, beware: don't place the Siri-powered smart speakers on top of wooden furniture, as the device may possibly cause permanent damage.
The Apple HomePod is capable of producing audio that sounds amazing, but it is far from being perfect. The smart speaker has some shortcomings, and the fact that it may damage wooden furniture is the latest to be added to that list.
Apple HomePod May Damage Wooden Furniture
There have been multiple reports that if the Apple HomePod is placed on top of a wooden object, the smart speaker may leave white rings on the surface. The damage may happen even after just a few minutes and, in some cases, may be permanent.
Through an updated support page, Apple confirmed the authenticity of the problem, which is apparently due to the interaction between the silicone base of the HomePod and the oils used for finishing the surfaces of wooden furniture.
According to Apple, the white, circular marks left behind by the HomePod on wooden surfaces may improve after several days. However, if the damage does not disappear, Apple suggested that customers should either clean the furniture with the "suggested oiling method" of the manufacturer or to have the furniture refinished.
Pocket-Lint founder Stuart Miles told BBC that the HomePod left a white mark on his kitchen worktop after just being on there for 20 minutes.
"To clear it, I had to sand the wood down and then re-oil it," Miles said. While it was not a huge problem for him, it would be a major issue for customers who unknowingly place their HomePod on an expensive piece of wooden furniture.
It is definitely not a good idea to limit the places where customers can place a $349 product, but Apple has apparently done that with the HomePod.
Apple HomePod Problems: The List Is Growing
The possibility that the HomePod may damage wooden furniture adds to the growing list of problems that customers have with the Siri-powered smart speaker.
Ever since it was launched, one of the major issues with the smart speaker was that Siri was not "smart" enough, especially compared with the capabilities of the Amazon Echo's Alexa and the Google Home's Google Assistant. In addition, at $349, the HomePod is much more expensive than most of the products in the Amazon Echo and Google Home families.
For now, it would appear that the HomePod is a niche product for customers who have already invested a lot into the Apple ecosystem. However, even then, make sure not to place it on a wooden surface.