Posted on 11/18/2021 at 07:30 AM by The Biker Lawyers
Can mounting an iPhone to the handlebars of your motorcycle ruin the phone?
We all know that Apple loves to add all the nifty features, bells, and whistles to their newest phones. In fact, the iPhone 13 (ranging in price from $799-$1,099) boasts better cameras, a faster chip, better displays, and even has a new "Cinematic Mode" that uses smart AI to auto-focus when filming for better storytelling (and a ton of other features we'll let you check out later). Before you go and think this is some kind of Apple-sponsored post, we assure you it's not. In fact, consider this a cautionary article for riders who prefer to mount their phone to their bike. If you're going to shell over the cash for a fancy new phone because you really want to use those sweet new features, you may want to know what might put that nifty new toy at risk!
Unfortunately, according to an article by Apple from Septemeber of 2021, mounting your iPhone to the handlebars of your bike may ruin the phone's camera (or at least some of the features).
"Exposing your iPhone to high amplitude vibrations within certain frequency ranges, specifically those generated by high-power motorcycle engines, can degrade the performance of the camera system." - Support.Apple.com
That's right, riders! According to Apple, some of the super-advanced camera system features of the iPhone like optical image stabilization, optical image stabilization (OIS), and closed-loop autofocus work by automatically detecting and reacting/adapting to movement. The vibrations from your bike's engine may mess with these features and essentially ruin the feature functionality. Apple does note that even vehicles with lower-power (electric) engines like mopeds and scooters, may still cause issues. They recommend using "Vibration dampening mounts" to "lessen the risk of damage to your iPhone" or avoid mounting them for prolonged periods in the first place.
Why mount a phone in the first place?
As personal injury attorneys, we always recommend 100% distraction-free riding whenever possible to avoid an accident. We also wouldn't even think about telling you what not to do while riding- you're aware of the risks. That said, why would you want to mount an iPhone to your bike? A few reasons, actually.
Navigation: As much as we never want to admit it, sometimes we need directions, and not all bikes have built-in navigation.
Protection: If you're ever pulled over by an aggressive police officer, it's nice to have a camera ready to record the interaction.
Documentation: If God forbid, you're ever in an accident, having a phone ready to document the aftermath can be a critical tool later when you have to deal with the insurance companies.
Regardless of the reason, if you choose to mount your phone to your bike, you should be aware that a few issues may arise with your camera later. Also, make sure that you choose a mount that will hold your phone securely, allow for safe (quick and easy) glances, and that the positioning of the phone doesn't interfere with your driving.
Ride safe, community!