The rattling noise that when you tap lightly on the top of the iphone 5 is the vibrator unit, vibrator unit is actually a tiny motor attached to a piece of off-set metal, it makes your phone "shaky" when is activated, because it design to "shake", so when it is not "shaking", it is loose, that's why you will hear the rattling noise.
To confirm it, you will hear the same thing on the iphone4 (GSM) when tap on top adjacent to the camera. For iphone4s, you tap somewhere just below the micro-sim slot, you will hear that noise too. iphone4 has a typical "motor" looking vibrator, while iphone4s has a rounded, coin-battery looking vibrator.
Hope this helps!
My situation is,
when I receive the iphone5, I didn't realize until couple days later that, when I am talking on the phone, in a quiet enviroment, talking with certain pitch, or changing the pitch, I would hear a humming noise (harmonic vibration). It sounds like, you put sand on a speaker and turn on, the sand is dancing on the speaker. I went to Apple store 3 times and couldn't replicate the problem because Apple store are noisy, iphone has its own noise cancellation mechanism to cancel out that particular vibration, somehow. They first refused, then I told them, if there is nothing wrong, I don't need to come 3 times, nobody want to exchange a $800+ brand new phone with a refurbish one. So they did exchange it for me. Which is reasonable.
But, if you ever have a chance to open up one of these device, you will see how tiny those components are, Apple made 50+ millions of these devices since original iphone, things are getting more and more complicated, we should respect those who created it, and most of all, those who assembling them, because it really take time ans skills to perfect such beauty. Speaking of time, I mean 100 devices/minute, Skills, I mean about 2 weeks from zero knowledge to sitting in front of the assembly line 16 hours a day (now I guess only 12 hours aday).
It makes sense a camera with image stabilization has some kind of "suspenders" to absorb the phone motion and keep the sensor "floating", which should be softer than the vibrations you want to filter.
The noise must be the whole sensor banging against the wall of the sensor's free-motion chamber, when the motion is stronger the suspenders can absorb.
Now my question is:
For every time I hear that noise, How much am I shortening its life? How much am I damaging it?
guys i had the same prob;em....i am about to recive my third replacement. the apple supervisor whom i was directed to had the same isue with their phone and sypathised with me 100% although they could not or would not comment on why apple doesn't release an official statement on the matter. probably worried about the negative effect on their share price. the supervisor even suggested that i wait one week before starting the replacement process as the longer i wait, the more chance there is i would get an iphone from a later production run that MAY not have the problem.
i think this is really shoddy of apple. after all the bs about ultra precision, to have a component that makes an annoying little rattle every time you put it down or move it is shameful. i for one did not spend £600 on a phone that is let down and made to feel cheap because of the particular lens set up chosen by apple. they MUST have picked this up during testing, no? it may seem like a small issue but i feel this little thing detracts from the whole quality feel and finish of the iphone and i will continue to get replacements until apple sort this out or tell me that it will never ever get better. then i will get a refund and wait for the next iphone. judging by the new ipad the 5s is only a couple of months away.
another isue is , does this rattle get wore and worse over time eventually damaging the lens set up just after the warranty expires? these things really do not help apple's image of high end personal electronics.
I thought the motion stabilizer was the culprit, but it can't be since it's not optical, but digital.
The button at the top is solid, no loose parts, even pressing it down.
All my other iPhones never made a noise like that and I don't have to hit this one too strong to hear it. Just hold it against your ear and tap it gently with one finger. GENTLY. That's enough to hear it. Shaking it for a "undo" definitely makes the noise.
My iPhone4 never did nor do (I still have it), and YES it auto-focuses… doesn't make noises, it won't scratch, and the voice is not cut-off in middle of a conversation because I moved the phone away from my ear to let it cool off.
I went today to the AppleStore for a replacement. It seems the "replacement" units are older and even probably refurbished. The first one the Apple Support representative brought had the frame nicked and the protective film with hand-palm and finger prints. The second one was cleaner, and had the same mutting mic.
So I'll return this unit next week and I'll wait until they stop speculating with we losing the first month to ask for a replacement before they say anything officially about the issues we all read about and could really tell what it is if we had the right screw-driver. No need for a engineer degree to see what's causing it.
I can't believe Apple's silence about all this.
I checked my friends iphones, 1 iphone5 and 2 iphone4s, they all have that rattling noise when i tap on back-top , even i can hear very mild sound when i shake it(whice ever makes that rattling noise) .
Looks like EVERY iphone5/4s ahs this issue. Did anyone find any iphone5/4s without rattling noise when you tap?
Did anyone find any iphone5/4s without rattling noise when you tap?
Other then above stated my iPhone 4?
I have it right here to go back to when I return my iPhone 5 to wait for an updated version, if no official answer is given (rather because of my other posted issue about mic mutting).
I just re-tested it. No noise. Solid as a rock.
(Shiny and no scratch even after 3-4 falls on rough roads. I love it)
It might be mine the deffectve one! (auto-focus works fine)
I got my iPhone 4s about a week ago, and at first the rattling sound did not bother me but now its anoying. When I took it back to my SP they said they'll have to take it in for repairs and not gonna replace it.
I'm also affected by the rattling noise, which is clearly the camera in my case. I got my phone replaced and the new device does the same noise.
However, if you open the Camera app and let the camera focus to an object very next to the device, you'll notice that the noise is gone.
So I guess that the rattling problem could be resolved by a software (firmware) update?
Well I'm running the latest iOS and the rattling is on the top half(backside) of the phone, it rattles when you put it down on a solid surface and when you tap on the top half(backside).
I went again to my SP and it seems like I'm fighting a lost battle coz they say they cant exchange the phone. So I want to make peace with this ANNOYING sound and b4 I do, I would like to know if it wont give me problems in the long run?
Last weekend i went to Apple store, tappped display iphone 5s randomly, Every single iphone 5 has rattling noise, even i tried with a coworker iphone5, same result. ALso i tapped few iphone4/4s similar sound. Some noisier than others. I agree with everyone, it's annoying, it makes iphone feels so cheap and weak. I would let them repair it and see if it stops the rattling.
As has been stated several times in this thread alone and thousands of times on the internet, the noise comes from the camera lens and is normal.
You most likley won't have any more problems with the camera than any other piece of iPhone hardware. I've purchsed 5 iPhones, an Ipad and a Touch over the years and never once had a camera problem with any of them.