iPhone Cameras and Motorcycles Are Not Compatible, According to Apple

Riding a motorcycle is good for the thrill-seeker in people, but it might not be good for your iPhone. Apple recently came out and said that motorcycles may cause damage to the smartphone over long periods of time. So while you may want to attach your phone to your bike, it might not be the best idea.

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Color Scheme
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Color Scheme | Apple

How do motorcycles damage your iPhone?

The problem lies in the new iPhone cameras, which are fitted with new stabilization technologies. For example, when you go to take a picture, pressing your thumb against the screen may move the phone a bit, resulting in a blurry image. To remedy this, Apple fitted iPhones with Optical Image Stabilization (or OIS).

OIS is comprised of a gyroscope that detects motion and vibrations. You know what else moves and vibrates an awful lot? Your motorcycle.

Apple explains, “OIS and closed-loop AF systems (another feature that detects motion) in iPhones 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.”

That’s a bunch of tech jargon, but to simplify it, your phone constantly rattling around on your motorbike will damage the camera and lead to worse images.

What kinds of motorcycles are bad for which iPhones?

A red-and-black 2022 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RR on a desert racetrack
2022 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RR | Triumph

The specific motorcycles that Apple says affect iPhones are “high-power or high-volume” bikes, meaning ones that are loud and fast. The 2022 Triumph Speed Triple RR is likely a motorcycle you wouldn’t want to strap your iPhone to.

And speaking of iPhones, these OIS gyroscope technologies are used in the iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone 7 and later including iPhone SE (2nd generation). So if you have any of those phones, don’t strap them onto your chopper.

That said, this likely won’t apply to your electric scooter, since those produce little noise and no vibrations. So your options are: replace your phone, replace your motorcycle, or simply slip your iPhone in your pocket to keep the camera safe.

How much does it cost to fix a broken iPhone camera?

Apple Logo
Apple Logo | Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

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A broken iPhone camera on the newer phones can cost anywhere from $50 to $150, depending on which camera breaks. Though under the AppleCare warranty, all other damage will cost $99 to repair. Without that warranty, the damage can cost anywhere from $200 to $600 depending on what phone you have. That said, Apple mainly specializes in repairing the screens rather than the cameras.

That said, it’s also possible to perform a “do it yourself” repair on your camera. Flipsy highlights exactly how much it costs to repair the phone, and how its value will shoot up if you ever decide to sell it. But there are also plenty of third-party services, such as uBreakiFix, that’ll repair your phone for relatively cheap.

The moral of the story is simple: keep your iPhone away from your motorcycle. While it’s convenient to put up there for your onboard navigation and music, keeping it in your pocket will help protect it from constant vibrations.

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