Apple Warns Vibrations Like Those From High-Power Motorcycle Engines Can Harm iPhone Cameras

Apple today published a new support document warning iPhone users that the cameras on their devices can be damaged by exposure to certain vibrational frequencies such as those generated by high-power motorcycle engines.

iPhone 12 cameras
‌iPhone‌ camera lenses with optical image stabilization (OIS) or closed-loop autofocus (AF) are susceptible to this damage due to their use of gyroscopes and/or magnetic sensors to help compensate for movement and vibration when shooting photos or video.

The 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.

Due to this risk, Apple recommends that users not attach their iPhones directly to the chassis or handlebars of such motorcycles, as direct transmission of vibrations can be intense. Apple even recommends that users mounting their devices to lower-powered devices like mopeds and electric scooters at least use a vibration-dampening mount to minimize the chances of any damage.


It is unclear whether there is a specific reason Apple has posted the document at this time, but there have been a number of reports on discussion forums and other venues over the years about damage caused in such scenarios, including on mountain bikes.

Apple has previously warned that OIS and closed-loop AF systems can similarly suffer from magnetic interference that degrades camera performance when used with certain ‌iPhone‌ accessories, although magnet-related issues tend to be temporary and can be remedied by simply removing the accessories. Vibrations can more easily result in permanent damage to the systems.

All ‌iPhone‌ models from the ‌iPhone‌ 7 onward, as well as the ‌iPhone‌ 6 Plus and ‌iPhone‌ 6s Plus, have OIS and/or closed-loop AF and are potentially affected.

Related Roundup: iPhone SE
Buyer's Guide: iPhone SE (Caution)
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

alex00100 Avatar
32 months ago
That's the first step of apple introducing apple-branded motorcycles that will be safe to use with your iPhone.
Score: 55 Votes (Like | Disagree)
swingerofbirch Avatar
32 months ago
I have a really vague recollection of one of the iPhone announcements in which Apple was showing off the cameras by taking video in a desert, and I think the cameras were attached to off road vehicles or motorcycles or something like that. Didn't even have one where they attached to a hockey stick? It all blurs together. Anyhow, they always show their products in ads taken to the extreme but then of course AppleCare won't cover it.

Edit:

I found one of them (I think there were more like this). They even show the word "SHOT" shaking back and forth and you can see these vehicles are obviously vibrating:

Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
risenphoenixkai Avatar
32 months ago

Lol who would even strap their phone directly to the motorcycle. Ever heard of pockets? Pockets with zipper even?
Ever heard of GPS? Turn-by-turn directions even?
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Shirasaki Avatar
32 months ago
So where do we suppose to use apple devices? Dust free room? Treating an iPhone like a $4m equipment?
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hagar Avatar
32 months ago
keep it in your pants, and you’ll be fine. ?
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lamina Avatar
32 months ago
Sounds like a Harley problem to me lol
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Apple car wheel icon feature yellow

Apple Cancels Electric Car Project

Tuesday February 27, 2024 11:05 am PST by
Apple has canceled all plans to release an autonomous, electric vehicle, reports Bloomberg. Apple has been working on an Apple Car for more than a decade and invested millions of dollars into development before deciding it was not a viable project. Apple's Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams today told approximately 2,000 employees working on the Apple Car that the project was canceled,...
General Apps Messages

iOS 17.4 to Add This 'Groundbreaking' New Messaging Feature

Friday February 23, 2024 5:05 am PST by
With iOS 17.4, set to arrive in March 2024, Apple is bringing a new cryptographic security feature to iMessage called PQ3. This "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks," according to Apple. Let's break down what that means. Apple's iMessage service already supports end-to-end encryption, but security...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Coming Soon With These New Features for Your iPhone

Monday February 26, 2024 6:08 am PST by
In a press release last month, Apple confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU, Apple Podcasts transcripts, and an iMessage security upgrade. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay...
iOS 18 Mock iPhone 16 Feature Gray

iOS 18 Rumored to Be Compatible With These iPhone Models

Tuesday February 27, 2024 6:31 am PST by
iOS 18 will be compatible with the iPhone XR, and thereby also the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models with the same A12 Bionic chip, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS updates. The post was spotted by MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris, and it has since been deleted. However, this was likely because the...
applearcade

Game Developers Describe 'Smell of Death' Around Apple Arcade

Monday February 26, 2024 7:24 am PST by
Some game developers are dissatisfied with Apple Arcade amid concerns about the subscription service's future, a new report claims. Sources speaking to mobilegamer.biz described a "smell of death" around Apple's games subscription service and noted the difference between the company's investment in TV and music, and its interest in games. "At the very top of the company there needs to be a ...