Bikers Who Use iPhones May End Up With Damaged Phone Cameras, Says Apple

Apple says that iPhones starting from the 6 Plus may face sustained damage if exposed to continued heavy vibrations such as from a motorbike.


iPhones are known for offering among the best smartphone cameras in the industry, but you may want to take particular care of them – especially if you are a biker. Apple Support recently issued a note stating exactly this, underlining that exposure to sustained “high amplitude vibrations” may cause significant damage to the iPhone camera. The reason – these vibrations may put off the optical stabilisation and closed-loop autofocus units of the iPhone camera, causing them to malfunction when trying to focus or stabilise an image.

In Apple’s own words, “High-power or high-volume motorcycle engines generate intense high-amplitude vibrations, which are transmitted through the chassis and handlebars. It is not recommended to attach your iPhone to motorcycles with high-power or high-volume engines due to the amplitude of the vibration in certain frequency ranges that they generate.”

The company further says, “Attaching your iPhone to vehicles with small-volume or electric engines, such as mopeds and scooters, may lead to comparatively lower-amplitude vibrations, but if you do so a vibration dampening mount is recommended to lessen the risk of damage to your iPhone and its OIS and AF systems. It is also recommended to avoid regular use for prolonged periods to further lessen the risk of damage.”

Apple underlines that all iPhones from the iPhone 7 (including the 2nd gen iPhone SE), as well as the Plus variants of the iPhone 6 and 6s, include OIS, while closed loop autofocus is features in iPhone XS and newer devices. This means that every iPhone mentioned above will be susceptible to such damage, which means that if you are a biker and mount your phone on the handlebars for navigation aid, your iPhone may be damaged already. Reports have highlighted this point to state how Apple is rather surprisingly delayed in issuing a warning about this.

Apple’s final disclaimer on the matter states, “OIS and closed-loop AF systems in iPhone are designed for durability. However, as is the case with many consumer electronics that include systems like OIS, long-term direct exposure to high-amplitude vibrations within certain frequency ranges may degrade the performance of these systems and lead to reduced image quality for photos and videos. It is recommended to avoid exposing your iPhone to extended high-amplitude vibrations.”

If you’re a biker too, it’s better you take note of this right away, and act accordingly. After all, you wouldn’t want to end up with a phone that can’t focus, would you?