Product reviewers, including Stuart Miles from technology site Pocket Lint and Jon Chase from the New York Times' Wirecutter also noted marks also appearing on some surfaces to varying degrees, which faded but not disappear over time. If a white ring has been formed on your furniture, it is best that you let it be as it is or risk further damage to the wood.
Apple confirmed the issue in a statement to Wirecutter and all but admitted to knowing about it before reports started surfacing, "the marks can improve over several days after the speaker is removed from the wood surface", a spokesperson said.
It was also revealed this week that Sonos speakers were also leaving marks on some wooden surfaces. Apple's HomePod smart speakers confirm that this statement is indeed correct as many consumers have been complaining about the downside of this product.
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.
Still, the fact that both Apple and Sonos speakers can damage wood furniture is very distressing.
I would advise anyone purchasing these speakers to place something between them and whatever surface you're planning to place it on.
A number of people who bought the just-released £319 speaker are reporting that it leaves a white ring on the surfaces of wooden furniture.
The same material appears to be used on Apple HomePod, Sonos One, Amazon Echo, and Google Home, although the material could be different on the latter two smart speakers and their weight is a bit under that of HomePod and One. The company recommends users to gently wipe the surface with a soft damp or dry cloth and if the mark still persists then try the wood manufacturer's recommended cleaning process.
With a quick turnaround time, Pad & Quill is now offering a coaster for the HomePod, claiming "state of the art surface protection" for your wooden surfaces.