The original HomePod was notoriously difficult to repair, to the point where cutting tools were sometimes necessary. Apple isn’t giving nearly as much grief with the second-gen model, however. iFixit has torn down the new smart speaker and discovered that it’s far easier to pry open. The large amounts of glue are gone – you can get inside using little more than a screwdriver, and the internal components are similarly accessible. Combine this with the detachable power cord and it should be feasible to fix at least some parts yourself.
iFixit cautions that it hasn’t tested for possible software restrictions on repairs. It’s not clear that you can replace circuit boards and still expect a functioning HomePod. Even so, it’s evident Apple considers repairability to be a priority this time around, much as it does with the standard iPhone 14 and other recent products.
Not that Apple has many choices but to make the HomePod more fix-friendly. Both federal and state governments are pushing for right-to-repair mandates. If Apple didn’t make the speaker easier to maintain, it risked political pushback. And while we wouldn’t count on Apple adding the HomePod to its Self-Service Repair program, the second-gen’s design makes that prospect more realistic.