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

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 19, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.

    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
  2. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Mar 29, 2008
    What about iMacs? Do they leave white marks? If not, why not make the HomePod base out of the same rubbers/silicone?
  3. SamRyouji, Feb 19, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018

    SamRyouji macrumors member


    Jun 1, 2016
    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.
  4. CausticSoda macrumors 6502


    Feb 14, 2014
    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.
  5. Jdalbo macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2015
    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!
  6. acblue94 macrumors regular


    Jul 26, 2011
    New York, NY.
    Sonos has the same issue. How about talk about them? This is so stupid already.
  7. Schranke, Feb 19, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018

    Schranke macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2010
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    I can't believe that people haven't figures it out yet...
    The white rings are obviously a reference to Apples new Spaceship Campus.
  8. 69Mustang macrumors 604


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    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.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 19, 2018 ---
    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
  9. SamRyouji macrumors member


    Jun 1, 2016
    But Sonos has less noticeable marks! /s

    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.
  10. simonmet macrumors 68020


    Sep 9, 2012
    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?
  11. Moorepheus macrumors 6502


    Sep 13, 2012
    Niagara Falls, NY
    $19.95 for a coaster for your HP, wonder how many will fall for it, go to the store and buy a $1.99 doily at your local craft store, I am sure they make them in black
  12. rcooked macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2015
    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.
  13. toph2toast macrumors 6502a

    Feb 24, 2011
    For how much Apple loves using wooden tables in their stores, offices, labs, etc. I can't believe this slipped by...
  14. marco114 macrumors 6502


    Jul 17, 2001
    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.
  15. teamgibbs macrumors member


    Aug 14, 2008

    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.
  16. partydorm, Feb 19, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018

    partydorm macrumors member


    May 29, 2009
    Los Angeles, California
    iRing is a feature and it's free, stop complaining :-D
  17. GOAT4521 macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2014
    I think Apple's stock might tank on this news. I wonder if the board is ready to oust Cook because of ring gate.

    By the way I love the HomePod and it has yet to leave a ring on my furniture. News must be slow this week.
  18. kemal macrumors 65816


    Dec 21, 2001
    iMacs use a hard plastic FWIW.
  19. Recognition macrumors 6502a


    Jun 27, 2013
    So why do Sonos, who ONLY make speakers, still have this issue, do they not care!?!
  20. WRX-SRQ macrumors member


    Sep 5, 2012
    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.
  21. seatton macrumors 6502a


    Nov 7, 2013
    Seattle, WA
    I do not see what the issue is. My Apple Watch gives me a lot of (workout) rings and I am happy about them! Am I missing something here?
  22. HardRain macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2012
    Really expect better from Apple, it's very poor mistake.
  23. clauzzz203 macrumors 6502

    Sep 18, 2012
    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'.
  24. swm macrumors regular

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


    Sep 13, 2012
    Niagara Falls, NY
    It's the new "WHITE"

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