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Apple‘s big announcement at this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference was a smart speaker called HomePod, the Apple answer to Amazon’s Echo. It’s a hub that lets you talk to Siri (Apple’s digital assistant), it’s allegedly a great-sounding speaker, and it looks like a roll of toilet paper. At least, that’s what people are saying on Twitter.
Ideally, the smooth, alien-looking cylinder would scream “futuristic,” but for many haters, the white version of the device just screams “something you use to wipe your butt.”
The Apple HomePod looks awesome! pic.twitter.com/N8YgVjgtuK— Lcd101 (@Lcd_101) June 5, 2017
Look! It's a HomePod unraveling! pic.twitter.com/u0pT5BWow4— Anne Elise Morrigan (@anne_elise) June 5, 2017
Because of the Homepod’s mesh exterior, balls of yarn and spools of thread have become another popular point of comparison:
My HomePod pic.twitter.com/4QjZRQ1x1s— Thomas Müller (@realTh_Mueller) June 5, 2017
Some people had more creative ideas, though:
The company is known for its minimalist designs, but they’re not always home runs. The G4 cube, a little Y2K-era desktop computer that was ahead of its time, was infamously compared to a Kleenex box, and the AirPods wireless earbuds have been likened to cigarettes sticking out of one’s ears.
If you want a good laugh, try digging through old internet posts to see the scorching criticism of Apple releases that went on to be huge successes. The iPod was maligned on Apple forums back in 2001. People said the iPad would never catch on, that it was a “glorified Etch-a-Sketch.” Now it sells 40 million units a year.
That’s not to say Apple’s new speaker will definitely be a hit, just to say that first impressions are often hilariously wrong.
And hey, not everyone thinks it looks like a roll of TP.
Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.