iPhone users who whipped out the big bucks on the company’s most expensive new smartphone are reportedly experiencing a major bug possibly related to the device’s optical image stabilization (OIS) feature. Users reporting the issues over the weekend posted videos showing their devices vibrating and physically failing when attempting to use apps like TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram. The Guardian previously reported on the issue.
Videos posted on Twitter and TikTok show users opening up both the front and rear-facing cameras on third-party social media apps only to have the area near the camera bump start violently and loudly vibrating. The issue causes the camera image to shake vigorously back and forth and seems to leave the entire exterior of the device shaking as well. So far, the issue appears to specifically impact the iPhone 14 Pro Max which was released last week and can cost up to $1,599 with the largest hard drive.
Although Gizmodo could not independently confirm the claims made in the videos, The Guardian suggests the issue likely stems from the iPhone’s built-in image stabilization feature first introduced in the iPhone 6 Plus. That feature relies on a motor to eliminate camera shake effects. That same motor may cause the loud rattling sounds experienced by users.
iPhone owners experiencing the issue on Reddit consistently said the issue did not occur when using the camera app or other native applications. That’s led some to speculate the issue could be related to third-party apps not yet updated for iOS 16.
Apple did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment, although it’s worth noting the company does have a support page warning about the effect extended high-amplitude vibrations can have on the camera. The company cautions users against attaching their iPhones to motorcycles with high-power or high-volume engines and says users should use a damping mount when attaching their device to small-volume electric motors like mopeds and scooters to avoid damaging the OIS system.
“The OIS and closed-loop AF systems in iPhone are designed for durability,” Apple says. 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.
In this case, the high amplitude vibration issues do not seem to explain away the malfunctions being reported online. Several of those accounts appear to show the devices vibrating while inside passenger cars and unattached to a vehicle. All that potentially reinforces the idea that a software error may be to blame.