The Apple iPhone 8 Camera is Suspended by Magnets

Thomas Wellburn
September 22, 2017

After a teardown by iFixit, it’s been revealed that the Apple iPhone 8 camera has a cool little patented feature up its sleeve which should help with image stabilisation.

As the Apple iPhone 8 launched across the UK, iFixit was busy tearing down the device and looking for any hidden gems in its design. The website regularly dismantles smartphones and scores them on repairability. During the investigation, they managed to find a very cool feature integrated into the camera sensor which naturally, Apple has patented.

Optical image stabilisation (OIS) is a mainstay feature on most modern flagship devices. It’s responsible for reducing image shake when trying to take a picture or record video. OIS differs from software stabilisation because a physical element is used to reduce shake. Typically, this happens to be a series of springs or other shock absorbent material. The sensor is then suspended using these materials, allowing them to take the brunt of any knocks or rumbles.

Apple has gone one step further with the Apple iPhone 8 camera and is using a series of magnets to suspend the sensor. It’s a smart idea that completely isolates the sensor from the handset itself. iFixit used an X-Ray scanner to achieve the below image, which shows the four magnets clearly arranged around the sensor. This technology was last seen in the iPhone 6 Plus and skipped the 7 series. The use of magnets in the iPhone 6 Plus did introduce some odd side effects, which could’ve been why Apple pulled the feature for a while. Consumers found that hovering a magnet over the camera sensor (pretty stupid I know) would cause the sensor to tremble and shake uncontrollably. Obviously, if you used a magnetic lens adapter that could pose a problem.

As the iPhone 8 has just been released, there is yet to be any confirmation if Apple has fixed this issue on new models. Nevertheless, it’s still a very innovative way to implement OIS.

For the full iFixit report, check the link here.

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