New Apple Watch SE and HomePod Mini owners report a Christmas Day 2020 set-up failure in their new devices
Some consumers who have recently acquired Watch SEs or HomePod Minis are complaining of unexpected hurdles when trying to integrate them with other Apple devices. This is particularly pressing in the case of the new wearable, as it is intended to be used in conjunction with Family Plans, so as to monitor potentially vulnerable relatives (who may, thus, have received them as holiday gifts).
Indeed, some of these users - reporting their issues on the MacRumors forum - claim that it is this stage that encounters failure during set-up. Some claim that the Watch SE units in question are refusing to validate a pass-code issued by the OEM required to do so.
To date, none of the common workarounds (rebooting the device or wiping it completely from an Apple iCloud account and starting the connection process again from the start, for example) seem to fix this issue. Then again, some of the affected users located in the US have come back to the thread in question saying the problem is resolved; however, it apparently persists in other markets such as the UK.
In the case of the HomePod, similar stumbling blocks have arisen in the course of this new smart speaker's configuration. However, in this case, one or two users have noted that a software update pushed to the device shortly after its first initialization might be the culprit. Removing it from iCloud and HomeKit, resetting it and then repeating set-up may have a positive effect on this situation.