Apple issues a warning about mounting iPhones on bikes

The Bigfella

Senior Member
Staff member
Aug 15, 2012
KTM 950SER & EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, BSA B33, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & X, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
Apple Warning

I've encountered these issues with an Android phone... the vibrations stuffed the video sensors, resulting in jittery video recording

What just happened? Apple in a recently published support document notes that exposing your iPhone to high amplitude vibrations at certain frequency ranges, like those commonly generated by high-powered motorcycle engines, can have an adverse effect on the phone’s camera system.

As Apple explains in the document, some iPhone models feature technology such as optical image stabilization and closed-loop autofocus (AF) to help improve image quality. Understanding the basics of how these features work provides insight into why vibrations could make them fail.

Optical image stabilization works in combination with a gyroscope sensor inside the phone. As you may know, a photo can come out blurry if you move the camera too much while the image is being captured. This is especially true in low light situations where the shutter needs to stay open for a longer period of time to capture more light. With OIS, the camera’s lens moves according to the angle of the gyroscope to reduce this blur.

Closed-loop AF, meanwhile, utilizes magnetic sensors to measure gravity and vibration effects. This data is then used to help position the camera lens to counteract these forces.

The intense, high-amplitude vibrations created by motorcycle engines are transmitted through the chassis and handlebars. As such, Apple said it is not recommended to attach your iPhone to such cycles. Mounting to a vehicle with a small-volume or electric motor, like certain mopeds or scooters, could lead to “comparatively lower-amplitude vibrations,” Apple added. If you must, Apple recommends using a vibration-dampening mount to lessen the risk of damage.

OIS can be found on the iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7 and later models, including the second-generation iPhone SE. Closed-loop AF is featured on the iPhone XS and later models, and the iPhone SE second-gen.

Apple didn’t say why it was just now issuing the warning, or how such damage could impact an iPhone’s warranty.


Mar 8, 2019
Chiang Mai
Triumph Street Twin
I mount my iPhone 12 on my Triumph Tiger and a BMW 1250GS using a quad lock with vibration damping and it works fine. More than 10,000 miles and my iPhone camera still works like a charm
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