Apple and the delayed HomePod

“Here’s Jony!” Jony Ive says as he kicks open the door to Tim Cook’s office.

He uses his foot because his hands are carrying something.

Tim looks up and beams, “Hey! Watcha got for me?”

Jony places the cylindrical object down on Tim’s desk and lifts off the small red towel covering it.

“The HomePod!” Tim exclaims, “Not long to launch now, eh?”

Jony gets on his hands and knees, plugging the HomePod’s power cord in under Tim’s desk. Tim sees Jony’s arse crack and looks away.

“So, yeah,” Jony’s voice sounds muffled from under the desk, “HomePod is nearly there, just need you to sign off this prototype and…” he gets up, face all red, “… and we’ll have this baby in the stores by christmas.”

Tim’s still smiling, “Well come on, get something on!”

“Of course!” Jony says. He gets his iPhone X out his pocket and opens up Music and flicks around. He puts his phone back in his pocket.

As the beat starts Jony and Tim stare at each other. Tim half winces and begins nodding his head in time. Jony smiles back and shakes his head to the beat. They do this for 8 bars. Then the snares hit and Tim finger-points. Jony brings his hands up in fists and smoothly pumps them back and forth in parallel. Seeing this, Tim points his feet towards each other, then out and throws his head back. Jony starts doing a subtle air guitar and bobs at the knee. Tim begins to do the Mia Wallace dance from Pulp Fiction but Jony shakes his head ‘no’. So instead, Tim does a 360 spin on his heel and almost loses balance. He extends an arm which keeps him level. Jony breaks into a sweat and grabs the small red towel to mop his brow, then he starts swinging it around his head.

Tim does another spin, as the room zooms past his eyes he sees a Steve Jobs blur standing in the doorway. He stops, then turns slowly around. Steve is staring at him. Jony is still gyrating with his eyes closed. Tim reaches behind and hits Jony. Jony, smiling, opens his eyes, sees Steve, and abruptly stands to attention.

“Fellas.” Says Steve with a nod.

“Hey Steve.” Jony says earnestly, “Just getting sign off on the HomePod.”

“Sure, sure.” Steve says, unusually calm.

“… What… do you think?” Jony says. Tim tightens his tie.

Steve is staring at the HomePod with his hands in the prayer position under his chin, frowning.

“Play the music again.” Steve says.

Jony gets his iPhone out his pocket and hits play. The track carries on from where it left off.

“Now unplug the HomePod.”

Jony looks across to Tim. Tim shrugs. Jony gets back on the floor under Tim’s desk.

“Oh for fuck sake put it away Jony.” Steve says after glancing down.

Jony unplugs the HomePod and the music abruptly stops. He stands back up.

“Well?” Steve says.

“Well what?”

“Where’s the fucking music gone?”

“Well it’s not plugged in.” Tim says nervously.

“So?”

“Well it needs to be plugged in...”

“Why?”

“…”

“Put a battery in it.”

“What?”

“Put a battery in it. I wanna pick it up and carry it about the house. Maybe I wanna take it out with me. Maybe people want to carry it in the street like a ghetto blaster. Bathroom.”

“But… that’s not… we don’t intend that to be a user case…”

“Put a battery in it.”

“But we’re meant to ship before Christmas!”

“You know what, Jony?”

Jony shrugs.

“You know what?

“What?”

“I’mma go easy on you. Because it’s Christmas!”

“Ok…”

“You got two weeks to fit a battery in the HomePod. You either do it or you don’t do it. Either way, the launch is pushed back to next year and the shame is on you.”

“Steve…”

“This Christmas, the shame is on you. No HomePods. See you!” Steve spins on his heels, smiling, and exits.

Jony and Tim can hear him whistling ‘Jingle Bells’ from down the corridor.