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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Last week, Apple confirmed that the HomePod can potentially leave white rings on the surface of wooden furniture with oil or wax finishes. In an effort to help users prevent seeing these rings appear on their own furniture, Apple shared a support document on "Where to place HomePod," detailing how the interaction between the HomePod's vibration-dampening silicone base and a wooden surface has the chance to result in a white ring.

Business Insider recently spoke with a few industrial design experts who believe that the problem "shouldn't be too hard to fix" for Apple." Gregor Berkowitz, a product development consultant for numerous consumer electronics brands, expects Apple to "re-tool" its HomePod manufacturing process to address the issue with the silicone base, which could take between two to six weeks. Although the fix could take several weeks, the experts said it's "likely not very costly" for Apple.

HomePod-rings-1.jpg
Image via Wirecutter


Senior industrial designer at Y Studios, Cesar Viramontes, referred to the white rings issue as something customers will "probably forget about" in the next few months.
Apple may need to "re-tool" the manufacturing process since silicone is manufactured using a different process than the other kinds of elastomer," said Berkowitz. If that's necessary, the process could take anywhere from two weeks to six weeks, he noted.

"It's an issue, but I think it's probably going to be one that'll be corrected in the next round of manufacturing," said Y Studios' Viramontes. "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."
While the experts see a quick fix for the issue coming from Apple, all were surprised it happened in the first place. Product design expert Ignazio Moresco explained that more is expected from Apple's well-known attention to detail, and the company "should have caught the issue if they followed a rigorous QA process." The white marks aren't an Apple-specific problem, but have appeared with other speakers -- like Sonos One -- that have similar silicone bases.

Berkowitz believes the white rings could be a result of Apple's "inexperience" with making stationary speakers, in contrast to the company's familiarity with making mobile products like the iPhone and MacBook.
"This is sitting on a bookshelf. Is it going to work? Or are there going to be problems? A traditional consumer product company or a speaker company or a traditional Hi-Fi company is going to worry about that and think about those problems and have experience with it," Berkowitz said. "This shouldn't be new for Apple but it is."

"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," said Ignazio Moresco, a product design expert who has worked at frog design, Microsoft and Ericsson.
For those who have discovered rings on their furniture, Apple said that these marks "will often go away after several days" once HomePod is removed from the wooden surface. Users can hasten this process by wiping the surface gently with a damp or dry cloth. Still, the company explained that if anyone is concerned about these marks, it recommends "placing your HomePod on a different surface."

Accessory makers are already creating products to act as a fix for the situation, including new leather coasters for HomePod from Pad & Quill. The $19.95 coasters are advertised as letting users place their HomePod on the wooden surfaces that have the potential to be marked by HomePod, without having to worry about the appearance of such marks.

Article Link: Industrial Design Experts Say HomePod's White Ring Issue 'Shouldn't Be Too Hard to Fix' for Apple
 

SamRyouji

macrumors regular
Jun 1, 2016
144
420
For sure the second version will mitigate the issue. Maybe they'll use aluminum base just like on the macs, or the rubber found on the base of Mac Mini and MacBook line.

That issue aside, I'm not surprised every pretty unknown designers have chimed in pretending they're above Jony Ive and beyond.
 
Last edited:

CausticSoda

macrumors 6502
Feb 14, 2014
453
891
Abu Dhabi
Rarely have I read as much nonsense as I have seen with ring-gate. Loving the line of this Berkowitz chap:

Berkowitz believes the white rings could be a result of Apple's "inexperience" with making stationary speakers, in contrast to the company's familiarity with making mobile products like the iPhone and MacBook.

Talk about would-be experts trying to find something to write to fill a few inches to justify their existence.
 

Jdalbo

macrumors member
Oct 30, 2015
30
36
What about iMacs? Do they leave white marks? If not, why not make the HomePod base out of the same rubbers/silicone?

My guess is no one moves the iMac after its setup. Like who cars about HomePod and rings since you usually do not move it around. And like said others have the same rings. So file this one under FUD again!
 

acblue94

macrumors 6502
Jul 26, 2011
429
737
New York, NY.



Last week, Apple confirmed that the HomePod can potentially leave white rings on the surface of wooden furniture with oil or wax finishes. In an effort to help users prevent seeing these rings appear on their own furniture, Apple shared a support document on "Where to place HomePod," detailing how the interaction between the HomePod's vibration-dampening silicone base and a wooden surface has the chance to result in a white ring.

Business Insider recently spoke with a few industrial design experts who believe that the problem "shouldn't be too hard to fix" for Apple." Gregor Berkowitz, a product development consultant for numerous consumer electronics brands, expects Apple to "re-tool" its HomePod manufacturing process to address the issue with the silicone base, which could take between two to six weeks. Although the fix could take several weeks, the experts said it's "likely not very costly" for Apple.

HomePod-rings-1.jpg

Image via Wirecutter


Senior industrial designer at Y Studios, Cesar Viramontes, referred to the white rings issue as something customers will "probably forget about" in the next few months.
While the experts see a quick fix for the issue coming from Apple, all were surprised it happened in the first place. Product design expert Ignazio Moresco explained that more is expected from Apple's well-known attention to detail, and the company "should have caught the issue if they followed a rigorous QA process." The white marks aren't an Apple-specific problem, but have appeared with other speakers -- like Sonos One -- that have similar silicone bases.

Berkowitz believes the white rings could be a result of Apple's "inexperience" with making stationary speakers, in contrast to the company's familiarity with making mobile products like the iPhone and MacBook.
For those who have discovered rings on their furniture, Apple said that these marks "will often go away after several days" once HomePod is removed from the wooden surface. Users can hasten this process by wiping the surface gently with a damp or dry cloth. Still, the company explained that if anyone is concerned about these marks, it recommends "placing your HomePod on a different surface."

Accessory makers are already creating products to act as a fix for the situation, including new leather coasters for HomePod from Pad & Quill. The $19.95 coasters are advertised as letting users place their HomePod on the wooden surfaces that have the potential to be marked by HomePod, without having to worry about the appearance of such marks.

Article Link: Industrial Design Experts Say HomePod's White Ring Issue 'Shouldn't Be Too Hard to Fix' for Apple
Sonos has the same issue. How about talk about them? This is so stupid already.
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,881
15,025
In between a rock and a hard place
Accessory makers are already creating products to act as a fix for the situation, including new leather coasters for HomePod from Pad & Quill. The $19.95 coasters are advertised as letting users place their HomePod on the wooden surfaces that have the potential to be marked by HomePod, without having to worry about the appearance of such marks.
I know MR has to make money and Pad & Quill is an affiliate. But c'mon. Recommending a $20 coaster?:eek:

As for the silicone in the HomePod base, Apple can adjust the formula and keep it movin'. It's a lesson learned that I imagine they won't repeat.
[doublepost=1519050001][/doublepost]
Sonos has the same issue. How about talk about them? This is so stupid already.
It's stupid. Not gonna argue that point. But you want MR to talk about it... but only as it relates to a different company that's not Apple. Is that not just as stupid?:p:D
 

SamRyouji

macrumors regular
Jun 1, 2016
144
420
Sonos has the same issue. How about talk about them? This is so stupid already.

But Sonos has less noticeable marks! /s

I know MR has to make money and Pad & Quill is an affiliate. But c'mon. Recommending a $20 coaster?:eek:

As for the silicone in the HomePod base, Apple can adjust the formula and keep it movin'. It's a lesson learned that I imagine they won't repeat.

Well, buy the coaster and use it for other purpose (eg. designer's limited edition mug). For the HomePod, just use a piece of cardoboard.
 

simonmet

Cancelled
Sep 9, 2012
2,666
3,662
Sydney
Never noticed this from rubber feet on any other device I’ve owned, including Mac computers. Am I right in assuming non-silicone rubber is immune?

If so why did they go with a silicone-based product if it’s prone to this?
 
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rcooked

macrumors regular
Feb 3, 2015
194
302
I just stuck mine on an already available coaster. I’ll look for a cheap glass one at a store or auction and be set.

It’s really not that major of a deal. All my furniture is Amish made oak, so I like to take precautions on just sitting things on it anyways.

I thought I remembered seeing a video of the Google Home Max including a silicon pad or something to sit the unit on. Perhaps, Apple does something similar and ships one to existing buyers.

Probably a cheap fix and covers a lot of goodwill.

Either way, no big deal.
 
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marco114

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2001
403
343
USA
Fold up a paper towel and put it under your speaker, problem solved. Or go buy some little rubber feet from the $1 store. Or put it on a place mat, or a dish. If people are really this incapable of functioning, we have a lot of problems in the world.
 

teamgibbs

macrumors member
Aug 14, 2008
56
30
Minnesota
Never noticed this from rubber feet on any other device I’ve owned, including Mac computers. Am I right in assuming non-silicone rubber is immune?

If so why did they go with a silicone-based product if it’s prone to this?


My guess is the silicone they used transfers the the least amount of vibration they could find. Or the material isn't chemically inert yet. Or it's bad batch... Could be a number of reasons.

My kid left one of those rubber sticky hands you get out of a vending machine on the dash of my car once and in just a few hours it left a faded impression on it. It took a couple weeks but it went away, scared the hell out of me though, ha. My car was brand new at the time.
 
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Recognition

macrumors 6502a
Jun 27, 2013
596
673
This is sitting on a bookshelf. Is it going to work? Or are there going to be problems? A traditional consumer product company or a speaker company or a traditional Hi-Fi company is going to worry about that and think about those problems and have experience with it," Berkowitz said.

The white marks aren't an Apple-specific problem, but have appeared with other speakers -- like Sonos One -- that have similar silicone bases.

So why do Sonos, who ONLY make speakers, still have this issue, do they not care!?!
 

WRX-SRQ

macrumors member
Sep 5, 2012
68
209
Tallahassee
Gotta love those folks at Pad & Quill, selling the most overpriced pieces of useless garbage. P&Q are the equivalent of Ambulance Chasing Lawyers of the accessories market. Why would anyone spend $10 for a square of leather? Go to JoAnn Fabrics or Michaels and buy a square of leather for like $2-3 bucks. Or better yet, go have a nice dinner at Outback and take their coasters for free. Now you have a semi-decent steak dinner (or salad if you prefer) and a free stack of coasters.

PSA: Friends don't let friends buy Pad & Quill.
 

clauzzz203

macrumors 6502
Sep 18, 2012
428
423
What about iMacs? Do they leave white marks? If not, why not make the HomePod base out of the same rubbers/silicone?
Homepods leave white marks only on oiled wood furniture, because of the oil...
Nobody would set their Mac on an oiled wood desk and work at it, pretty soon their hands and clothes would be covered in oil. But we live in 2018...

If you make a speaker base out of plastic then you get plastick-y sound due to resonance. People should re-learn to study up and not criticise everything as a self apointed 'expert'.
 

swm

macrumors 6502
May 29, 2013
455
779
good god, please stop this stupidity. put a coaster under it, and stop complaining. this is such a 1st world issue.
 
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