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Apple: Don’t Attach Your iPhone to Motorcycles, Mopeds, or Scooters if You Want the Camera to Last

Exposure to high amplitude vibrations in certain frequency ranges can degrade some of the phone's camera systems over time.

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Image for article titled Apple: Don’t Attach Your iPhone to Motorcycles, Mopeds, or Scooters if You Want the Camera to Last
Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)

Apple has a message for iPhone users with high-power motorcycles, mopeds, and scooters: Don’t attach your phone to them you value your camera.

In a support document with a uniquely-long and oddly-specific title published on Friday—which was called, “Exposure to vibrations, like those generated by high-powered motorcycle engines, might impact iPhone cameras,” in case you were wondering—Apple said that attaching your iPhone to these vehicles can expose them to high-amplitude vibrations within certain frequency ranges. Consequently, this can lead to the degradation of the phone’s optical image stabilization, or OIS, and closed-loop autofocus systems over time.


Considering that these are these are the systems that help your iPhone take great pictures even if you accidentally move and help it counteract the effects of gravity and vibration, it’s not a good idea to mess them up. Doing so will reduce the quality of your photos and videos. All iPhones beginning with the iPhone 6 Plus have either an OIS or closed-loop autofocus system.

Technically speaking, the OIS system contains a gyroscope that reduces image motion and blur. When you move, the camera lens moves according to the angle of the gyroscope, which ensures you take a nice picture. Meanwhile, the closed-loop autofocus system uses onboard magnetic sensors to “measure gravity and vibration effects and determine the lens position so that the compensating motion can be set accurately,” according to Apple.


“The OIS and closed-loop AF systems in iPhone are designed for durability,” the company explained. “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.”

Some of you may be asking if this means you can’t carry around your iPhone if you ride a motorcycle. Let’s be clear, you can, but Apple just prefers you avoid putting it in certain places.

“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 support document reads.

If you’re more of a moped or scooter type of person, Apple recommends you use a vibration dampening mount to reduce the risk of damage to the iPhone and its OIS and closed-loop autofocus systems. Even in that case though, the company says you shouldn’t attach your iPhone to these vehicles on a regular basis.