Recent reports suggest owners of the original HomePod should steer clear of the device’s software version 14.6 and the newer version 15 update for beta users.
After numerous reports surfaced on Reddit and elsewhere, it appears the updates “brick” some users’ devices in certain configurations.
That could leave those discontinued but still widely used HomePods unusable, with serious hardware damage. Some become unresponsive while others rapidly overheat or see their logic boards fried, users reported.
Older HomePods and Apple TV pairings
Several reports indicate HomePods paired with Apple TV are often the ones effected. In several cases, at least one of two HomePods in a paired stereo configuration ended up bricked.
Older models of the original HomePod may be more vulnerable than newer ones.
In these cases, disappointed users generally find that neither a hard reset of their device or an attempted downgrade to older software does any good.
No problems seen with HomePod mini
So far the HomePod mini, released about two years after the original HomePod, shows no related vulnerability.
Apple released the HomePod 14.6 update a couple of months ago, offering performance and stability improvements for the smart speakers. But a newer update for beta participants, HomePod Software 15, appears to be causing similar problems as the 14.6 official release.
Apple claims no liability for damage suffered with beta software updates.
HomePod owners have seen devices rendered useless by softwware updates before, unfortunately.