Apple's HomePod speaker damages wooden furniture

The launch of Apple's smart home hub, the HomePod, has been marred by news that the speaker is leaving circular marks on wooden furniture.

Only a week after its launch, HomePod users have reported that the speaker has been leaving white circular marks on their wooden surfaces.

Taking to Twitter, one user said the speaker had "left rings on my wood furniture in less than 20 minutes of use", while another simply tweeted "concerning".

Online commenters also noticed similarities between the white rings and Apple's recently Foster+Partners-designed campus in Cupertino, California.

Michael Gillett tweeted that "Apple is so proud of the new Apple Park they have decided to include a map of it with every HomePod".

Fellow user Michael Steeber echoed Gillett's observations, tweeting: "Ok who set a HomePod on Cupertino."

Apple has since acknowledged the issue, which is due to the speaker's silicone base reacting with oils that are used to stain timber furniture.

"It is not unusual for any speaker with a vibration-damping silicone base to leave mild marks when placed on some wooden surfaces," said the tech-giant in an update of its online guidance on maintaining and cleaning the intelligent home speaker.

According to Apple, the marks are not permanent and can be removed by wiping and cleaning the furniture.

"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. If not, wiping the surface gently with a soft damp or dry cloth may remove the marks. If marks persist, clean the surface with the furniture manufacturer's recommended cleaning process."

The company went on to suggest that if customers are unhappy about the marks they should not place the speaker on wooden furniture: "If you're concerned about this, we recommend placing your HomePod on a different surface."

But this advice was not well-received. Federico Viticci, founder and editor-in-chief of website MacStories tweeted the company: "don't tell me to oil my wood."

The appearance of the rings has prompted Apple accessory retailers to produce a range of products designed to protect wooden furniture. While Pad & Quill has produced a leather Homepad coaster, Meres is selling an aluminium mount for the speaker.

The HomePod retails at £319 and is Apple's rival to the Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers.

The damage caused by the HomePod is the latest controversy connected to the tech-giant's hardware. Last month, news broke that it had been hit with multiple lawsuits after revealing it purposefully slowed down older iPhone models.