Apple has surprisingly updated its support documents, including a new notice that certain vibrations can cause permanent damage to the iPhone.
Modern smartphones are very complex machines, and nothing represents that better than mobile cameras ; manufacturers have managed to use incredibly advanced sensors and technologies to achieve image quality close to that of a professional camera. But all that complexity also means that they can be broken more easily.
For example, just by riding a motorcycle. This surprising revelation comes from Apple, which in a support document has confirmed that certain vibrational frequencies have a great effect on the iPhone cameras, even rendering them useless.
Specifically, it affects more models that have optical image stabilization (OIS) and autofocus (AF) ; That’s because these systems rely on internal gyros and magnetic sensors to function, and those can be affected by engine vibrations and the movement of a motorcycle. Motorcycles with more powerful engines are more likely to cause these problems. The first iPhones with OIS were the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s Plus, and the first with AF to be affected by this problem is the iPhone XS.
Apple claims that its OIS and AF systems are built to last; but that “like many consumer electronics”, continued exposure to these vibrations can affect performance, resulting in poorer image quality in our photos. Apple seems to indicate with that phrase that the problem is not exclusive to iPhones , and that mobiles from other brands would also suffer from it.
We can notice this effect if we see that our photos come out blurry , even if we focus them correctly or make sure that we are not shaking. In the worst cases, it may mean that we will no longer be able to use the iPhone cameras due to the poor quality of the images.
To avoid all this, Apple recommends avoiding exposure to these vibrations; in other words, not carrying the iPhone on the motorcycle if we can avoid it. It also advises that we do not use a mobile support that is attached directly to the chassis or to the handlebar of the motorcycle, since those areas are the ones that vibrate the most; If we really want to have the support, to be able to use the mobile as a browser, for example, Apple recommends one that has some kind of damping against vibrations, which is capable of absorbing the most harmful ones.
It’s strange that Apple suddenly decided to release this support document; it may indicate that there have already been cases of users who have suffered damage to their iPhone cameras. The company has a history of changing documentation to react to problems encountered by its users; For example, last week it was discovered that Apple introduced a new advisory for users who encountered a broken MacBook screen due to the ultra-thin design and the use of webcam covers.