$350 for a device you effectively cannot repair without ruining some part of it is absolutely astonishing. To anybody that says "so what?", if any part of this dies for whatever reason, not only are you almost completely out of your money, there's no way this thing is actually getting repaired by Apple. At best most of the components end up going through a recycler. At worst, that's 5lbs of added landfill.
Speakers are something that NEED to be repaired. It's one of the non-solid state technologies that we haven't found a better alternative for, and are some of the most fragile parts in systems today. These drivers/cones WILL wear out over time and the only thing you're going to be able to do is buy a new unit.
It's a complete waste of their customer's money (and thus time), as well as terrible for the environment.
Heck there are several little connectors in there that could come loose, you can't get at those either.
I can replace the screen on my e-ink kindle for $25, instead of $100 for a new one. Have done this about 8 times (lots of kindles lots of backpacking).
There's literally no reason that you can't get into this home pod easily except apple doesn't want you to. Looking at the design, there is no way you could argue that apple doesn't have the time or chops to make a repairable device. That thing is gorgeously made and has tons of completely custom components. They chose to do this.
Sometimes, making something easily fixable also makes it worse.
I can imagine a couple joints that would not bring too much vibration problems, but the speaker would be larger, heavier and costlier to manufacture. Soldering wires or flat pads instead of removable connectors could fix the remaining issues, but that would come at a price in the form of extra manufacturing steps.
Finally, a Kindle is a flat board with components on both sides and a plastic shell around everything. This is a mechanically complex thing, with lots of consideration paid to details.
Which is what they invented thread-locker and lock-washers for
You'll need a lot of screws, a lot of tread washers, a lot of pressure and textured surfaces with precise displacements so that everything is equally pressed together.
Either that, or just glue everything together.
Looks like you could easily replace the A9 and keep the rest with this design as well.
IOW: repairing this is pointless. Buy a speaker. Don't buy a speaker that is also a computer, and especially don't buy a smart speaker that fills a small niche in a large corporation's vision for how to extract maximum profit from consumers by locking them into an endless upgrade cycle
It's just a matter of priorities and market forces. It's cheaper and easier for Apple to do it this way, and there's no need for them to not to.
Well, it was delayed. So it could be argued that they didn't have time to do that.
The average consumer wasn't able to repair their own typewriter, but they were able to pay a local entrepreneur a few dollars to do it for them.
Mainstream products didn't become disposable instead of repairable until very recently.
It’s also worth noting that history is full of disposable products, but since they tare need to break or be disposed of, we focus on the outliers which remain. The old bread mixer which can run until the end of time is memorable, the cheap blender is not.
Also I think the bigger picture is more worrying. Yes, planned obsolescence seems to be the soul of IoT - and for reasons perfectly understandable from the industries' PoV there seems to be immense push to make this the new norm.
So if zero reparability isn't supposed to become the norm (more than it already is), I think drawing a little attention to cases like this is justified.
But of course with the current vision of IoT - where devices mostly seem to be physical extensions of cloud services - the only way is indeed to avoid them.
If we want engineers who can build these products in the future it also helps that they can tear them apart as kids.
Again is that what you actually want to reward? Do you want to be able to use your IoT device a week after the startup goes under or apple decides that it's time to sell everyone a new $500 speaker?
It's been running flawlessly since 2011.
I still have a 733MHz P3 and a 350MHz K6-2 somewhere, both probably still work just fine.
Computers don't just break randomly.
You can choose to buy well and half things last a lifetime. So far these speakers have given 30 years of pleasure and I have parts on hand (a baggie with some extra surrounds) to ensure they last another 30 years.
You don't throw away your house when the paint peels, do you?
This home pod will be obsolte in 2 years.
As long as the ROM's in the master/cd players don't die on me I can replace every electronic part in them for decades to come.
Which is why I chose them, and why I'm buying more to fill the rooms in my house. I can control them, repair them and fit them to suit my tastes.
I just finished overhauling a 12" craftsman lathe tonight. It's from 48. The company who bought out the lathe business from sears still makes and sells the parts for it.
Is that true? If there's one component that's stood the test of time in my home theater setup, it's been the speakers. I've purchased a ton of speakers in my time and I'm still rocking some 15 year old Kenwood speakers in the living room.
The way I see it, these speakers are great for somebody that wants to remain in the Apple ecosystem and has $350 to drop on something that's going to be obsolete and incompatible in a few years. So yeah maybe these drivers won't need to be replaced, but that's only because the software driving them has a shorter life expectancy.
In the meanwhile, I enjoyed the Altec Lansing speakers that my parents bought in the 70ies for quite some years.
(We were interested in the HomePod, but the lack of a line-in, and low-reparability has made the choice difficult. Added to that, I don't really like that it has so many Mics. 2025's Apple could be 2015's Lenovo, there is no guarantee that they will keep focusing on security & privacy, nor that they will resist government surveillance.)
If they plan to support the latest AirPlay on the HomePod for 10 or 15 years, why not just state this? If you are not doing that, you want to keep the possibility to end support earlier.
 I know that you could install the old Airport Utility unofficially for a while.
Getting rid of line in would be fine if you could still use it as a speaker with a modern wireless protocol, but this is just a regression in functionality.
I swiped a record cabinet from the 1960s out of my grandma's basement when she moved into a retirement home. To my surprise, after replacing the needle it still works and sounds great! These are 50 year old speakers stored in terrible conditions, yet they still work.
edit: the fact they have to use an ultrasonic cutter next in the video is insane and makes no sense. Is it possible that iFixit is simply missing the correct way to open this?
edit2: Summary of the video concludes that "Even though there looks to be an easy way inside, we failed to decode it. Without a repair manual, your odds of success are slim". Hence the 1/10, which makes sense.
Maybe, but it is a version 1.0 device in a new market for Apple. It will be functionally obsolete by the time it wears out. I mean this in the kindest sort of way. Consider a version 1 iPad. I have two or three of them stored somewhere. They were great for a couple years then got completely eclipsed by even greater things once Apple figured out where to take the product category. Of the five version 1 iPads I can remember family members owning, I don't think any of them ever needed a repair, they just lived their quiet service lives and finally slipped the surly bonds of tech.
I get the landfill argument, but I have not needed to have any of the speakers I have owned over the last 25 years repaired.
Apple plain doesn't care about repairability.
Modern drivers with butyl rubber surrounds don't really wear out, they last decades easily.
"Apple is operating at a 38 percent margin – which is significantly smaller than the margins on iPhone and Apple Watch.
For comparison’s sake, Google sells its Google Home smart speaker at a 66 percent margin, while the Amazon Echo is sold at a 56 percent margin"
Just obvious things like a physical mic mute button for example.
The most surprising is doing features without the security yet available needed with the feature.
So no voice ID yet you can get text messages read back.
Been a long time Apple fan but honestly of late it is really hard to understand what is going on at Apple.
They had to to use a hacksaw and knives on the HomePod.