BMW is releasing a smartphone mount for its motorcycles, despite warnings from Apple that vibrations from bike engines can break iPhone cameras. The mount is called the ConnectedRide Cradle and unless BMW built vibration dampening into its cradle, it seems like an invitation to harm your smartphone.
If that happens, who would be liable for the damage? Is it the company whose device is susceptible to the damage in the first place, or the one that sold you an official accessory that damages the camera?
The cradle attaches to current BMW bikes but will work with a number of past models fitted with the right options, like the BMW R 1200 GS. The options that BMW claims the cradle needs are mostly required to use the control features through the bike’s “Multi-Controller,” but it’s unclear whether the cradle could simply be used as a glorified phone mount on bikes that lack those options.
The ConnectedRide features could still make it useful even without the control interface. It’s a wireless charger for starters, which uses the Qi-standard and will provide 7.5W to the attached phone.
If the connected smartphone doesn’t support wireless charging, there’s a USB-C port that will match the watts from the wireless pad. The wired charger carries a 1.5 A at 5 V rating. The 7.5W output from the port is notable because hardwired connections usually outperform wireless chargers but it’s OK in this application.
The cradle will fit a lot of current and older phones, all the way back to the Apple iPhone 7 and Google Pixel 2 XL. It will also fit most phones that are sized at least 5.12 x 2.58 inches, and at most 6.39 x 3.07 inches. BMW says the cradle can be locked to the bike.
BMW advertises the ConnectedRide Cradle as a way to use your phone for the main navigation screen while the companion app will display other data, like the bike’s “lean angle, acceleration, deceleration and much more...” according to the bike maker. There’s no word on pricing from BMW’s release.
The cradle is likely meant to be used while touring. In other words, the phone will be attached for extended rides and I would worry about the long-term effects. It’s unclear if BMW is aware of the iPhone cameras “degrading,” and safeguarded against it. There’s no mention of vibration damping from BMW, so I wouldn’t risk it. Unless of course, I planned on doing my own camera repairs.