Apple Warning Regarding Exposure of iPhones to vibrations…
PAD 0 last edited by PAD 0
I have only very recently seen this but it seems that, in September, Apple issued a warning to iPhone owners concerning exposing their phones to vibrations “like those generated by high-powered motorcycle engines”. See the link below:
Apparently, Apple are concerned that such vibrations can damage the cameras of certain models.
I wonder has anyone had such an issue?
It seems a bit odd to me that Apple have issued such a blanket statement without any technical information whatsoever. What frequencies? What machines are known to be involved? How and where were affected phones mounted, etc,etc, etc.
Coincidentally, prior to learning about this, I had to replace my iPhone 6s + as it died while sitting unused on a table. Fine half an hour before, then black screen and unrecoverable according to iTunes. I took it to a local repairer (a very good one who has been in business for many years and really knows his stuff). Having ascertained that the problem was with the phone’s NAND chip, he asked did I use it on a bicycle? He sad that he has endless iPhones from 6 models onwards that have died, and being mounted on bicycles seems to be a very common link.
He added that this is also a growing problem across other brands and that this, and other similar issues, are down to poor quality solder being used in manufacture. He can repair affected phones by re-soldering chips. However it can be hit and miss, is very time consuming and expensive, so something he would only advise in the case of high value phones, or if essential / highly valuable data needed to be recovered. Not so in my case, and It was cheaper for me to buy a 7s + from him at a very reasonable price compared to what I’d seen online (As an inveterate cheapskate, I never buy new phones!)
I have never attached any phone to a bicycle. Indeed, it is years since I attached so much as my arse to one. But my dead iPhone had been fitted to a RAM stem mount system on my VFR800, both using a simple RAM holder and, latterly, an UltimateAddons waterproof case, sometimes on its own, sometimes using a home made adapter which enabled use besides my Garmin Zūmo ((for comparison and backup for when the Navigation app decided to throw its latest wobbly). Total use would have been in the order of 3000 miles and levels of vibration would have a. been pretty low, and b. varied in frequency depending on holder and mount variations. The VFR has Maxton and K-Tech suspension which makes for a very compliant, well damped and controlled machine compared to standard and, overall, I would say levels of vibration would have been very small. Intuitively, I would doubt very much that use of the phone in these circumstances would be a causal factor, but obviously I can’t be certain of this, given a total lack of measurement or scientific approach! Attached, undamped, to the bars of a pre Evolution engined Harley… Yes, I’d imagine many a phone might disintegrate quite quickly! But here’s the thing…
How can an organisation such as Apple issue such an unqualified warning. And why? Might this possibly be a gambit in moves toward disqualifying increasing numbers of warranty claims that are, in essence, down to piss poor component and production standards?
Are they justified? Is attaching a phone to a motorcycle not such a good idea???
Has anyone encountered any kind of phone failure that they can put firmly down to vibration during motorcycle use?
I must admit, this Apple statement has seen me reduce use of the phone for motorcycle navigation, and when I have done so it has been in a tank bag map holder, such that if vibration were a problem there, one might think twice about use of phones in all but stationary situations, which would make a bit of a mockery of the notion of ‘mobile’ phones!
It strikes me that, if phone manufacturers are going to go down the path of effectively proscribing motorcycle applications, there is a potential business threat to MRA and other providers of phone based navigation systems that would be well worth looking into and, possibly, seeking to counter and challenge? I would certainly be wanting some evidence and data from Apple to back up what seems to me, as it stands, to be a quite specious statement.
Nik Player last edited by
Its not uncommon and it effects many manufacturers not just Apple. Phones that use mechanical image stabilisation are prone to failure due to excessive vibration. It's not Apple's fault, they are just letting folks know to watch out.
Plenty of talk on bike forums about this very issue too.
Steve Lynch last edited by Steve Lynch
The obvious simple answer is to buy an older second hand phone that doesn’t use mechanical stabilisation for the camera, and keep your “mechanically stabilised” phone in your jacket pocket, using that for taking photo’s when you are off the bike.
You hit the nail right on the head right here “Might this possibly be a gambit in moves toward disqualifying increasing numbers of warranty claims”
There are phone mounts that offer vibration damping which have been developed for this very reason, but I suspect that those mounts might just be delaying the inevitable failure of the mechanical stabilisation.
And as far as this bit goes “in essence, down to piss poor component and production standards?” I don’t think there’s a hope in hell of using that against these behemoth phone companies.
As someone who avoids motorcycle forums, and forums in general, as they tend to lead me to rueful headshaking and holding head in hands, I haven't seen any coverage of this.
I wouldn't think in terms of challenging behemoth corporations directly. They have, after all, been allowed to become laws unto themselves. I had in mind just having some information and data to (hopefully) counter such blanket statements and provide some basis upon which people can make rational, informed decisions. Would this not be in the interest of many with a business interest in mobile applications? Might there be an industry 'umbrella' group that might see funding some controlled scientific testing as being in their own interest?
The bottom line, for me, betwixt and between my own experience and seeing such an astoundingly unprofessional and unsupported statement from Apple is that I simply don't know whether mounting mobile phones on motorcycles is advisable or not. I'm tempted to err on the side of caution personally.
Were my concerns only around cameras, yes, I see that using an old phone for on bike duties makes sense. But if high vibration situations are leading to bricked phones on a much broader basis (eg bicycle usage)then that's very different.
Right now, it seems to be ruggedised sat nav devices 1 phone based nav apps 0... And I want to be wrong!
I bought an iPhone 11 for this very reason. It doesn’t have optical image stabilization (OIS) or auto focus (AF) I’ve also bought the dampening plate for my Quadlock mount for a belt and braces approach. Ridden thousands of miles with no problems. Interestingly, my previous phone was an iPhone 6s, one of the models at risk. Again, thousands of miles with it mounted on my motorcycle without any issues at all.
Apple Support article
Richard Ward last edited by
Apple have been decent enough to acknowledge this problem whereas others have not. You could easily argue it is Apples fault (and everyone else for that matter), but the reality is, mobile phones are not designed to be clipped onto motorcycles (or bicycles for that matter). Other companies (e.g. Quadlock) try to come up with a solution.
As suggested, use an older phone (sorry cannot recommend it) or use the intended tools for the job, get a sat nav and leave the blasted phone in your pocket.
I have a sat nav already, thank you sir. I also seem to have a missed point.
Reinhard-32 last edited by Reinhard-32
I use an older android outdoor smartphone for this task and not my IPhone.
Con Hennekens last edited by
There are plenty cheap ruggedized phones available that have way better performance than any dedicated satnav. I treated myself to a CAT S52, which to my surprise is a very neat device of which no one will be ashamed of using it as a daily phone. But as suggested earlier, leave any expensive device in your pocket. I do not want to expose my still very much appreciated P30 Pro to the dangers of motormounting. I use the S52 as my dedicated satnav and it is wonderfull. Big, Bright, Fast, Great with bluetooth headset, does also spotify and flitsmeister, AND is glove-able.
@Con-Hennekens Excellent! Thank you. While it would involve more tech when I’m seeking to use less and get more from what I do have, at least those ruggedised phones don't cost an arm and a leg. I’ll look into it.