Apple iPhone users who are into biking or ride motorcycles can potentially damage their smartphone cameras with the vibrations that are generated from the engines of high-powered motorcycles. Apple has published a new support document telling iPhone users that the cameras on their iPhones can be damaged by exposure to certain vibration frequencies such as those generated from the engines of high-powered motorcycles. Apple said that iPhone camera lenses with optical image stabilisation (OIS) or closed-loop autofocus are susceptible to damage as they use gyroscopes and/ or magnetic sensors to help compensate for movement and vibrations while 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," Apple has said in its support page.
Apple also 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 also recommends that users mount 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 not known whether there is a specific reason that Apple posted the document at this time, but there have been a number of reports on discussion forums and social media over the years about the damage caused in such scenarios, including mountain bikes.
Apple has previously warned that OIS and closed-loop autofocus system can similarly suffer from magnetic interference that degrades camera performance when used with certain iPhone accessories. All iPhone models from iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s onwards have had optical image stabilisation and/or closed-loop autofocus and are potentially affected.