iPhone 4 Vibrates For No Reason?


I’ve been noticing over the past few days that my iPhone 4 seems to vibrate very softly, sporadically throughout day.

At first I thought I was crazy. The vibration is barely noticeable and the first few times it happened I simply dismissed it thinking must be going crazy. Luckily I’m not.

Anyone else noticing a very subtle vibration coming from their iPhone 4? I can’t seem to recreate it on command.


  • T…

    Never happens to mine.

  • Mat

    I havent really noticed anything out of the ordinary. My phone has been perfect. (including the antenna)

  • A Guy

    Happened all the time with my 3G on 4.0, but nothing with my iPhone 4.

  • DAvid

    I believe my 3GS does the same. I've often caught myself reaching for it due to a sensed single vibration, only to find no activity.


  • Dan0783

    I get a vibration on my 3G early sometimes, and then the email notification comes a few minutes later.

    It could also be phantom vibration syndrome.

    Any idea when Rogers will open up online upgrade sales?

  • Do you have a mail account set up in the app?

    It could be the mail app fetching or pushing the new mail to your device. I know sometimes I get a random vibrate when using the phone or when im not using it and when i check for notifications there are none (but the mail app shows more mail in the badge)

  • Wysteria Peacock

    I think I may be having this same issue as well, but haven't been paying super close attention to it, as I thought I was crazy. Now i know others are having the same issue, I'll be more viligant, and if this continues, I may contact Apple.

  • Wow that's so weird!
    I don't have the same problem.

  • Nobodys

    I thought it was the shape or material of the back of the phone letting it glide on equally smooth surfaces. Or that it was vibration from my laptop's hard drive which caused it to slide off the laptop on onto the floor.

  • Ryan

    My 3GS does this, for sure! Occasionally it will vibrate quickly 3 times, then pause for a minute, then go 3 again. Don't know what it is! Maybe JB?

  • n8

    anyone have a problem that when they take a pic with the front facing camera and mms it, the recipient receives it sideways?

  • Blah

    it does it when there is no signal sometimes

  • Is it on charge when it happens?

    I've discovered that my 4G doesn't play nice with some of my chargers I used with my 3G, often kicking on and off charge, presumably while the charger overloads (and kicks off momentarily) or the iPhone itself gets cranky about not getting as much power as it wants and does a cycle of some sort.

    When this occurs, it vibrates and I get the “charger connected' chime. If it was muted, I'm suspecting this would only be a vibration.

    Like the iPad, I'm wondering if the iP4 is not adhering fully to USB power standards and is asking for more then some devices can offer.

  • Popjunkiesuperstar

    yes, this actually happened to me today!!! thought i was getting a call and the ringer was not working…no call though…maybe it is an ighost?

  • rorypiper

    Haven't noticed, but I'll look out for it.

  • RandomData

    Similarly, I sometimes will get a mail notification and in the meantime my computer decides the message is spam and deletes it from my inbox. By the time I look at my phone, Mail is back to reporting no unread messages.

  • Chris

    I haven't notices it when I'm charging it. It just goes off when I'm playing around with it. Today I felt it in my pocket.

    What's weird is that it's not the same vibration as a notification or phone call, it's much weaker and longer in duration.

  • justin

    excuse me being off topic here… but is anyone else getting low call volumes? i even did a hard reset (which did fix the problem slightly) but it is still quite low. and yes i took off the plastic film it came with.

    any suggestions, or similarities?

  • Alex

    YES! This just happened to me yesterday! I also thought I was crazy… I would have bet a million dollars that it did vibrate, but when I checked it, nothing. It only happened to me once so far, but it was really strange.

  • its not specific to iPhone 4… it is something which used to happen on my 3GS. have not noticed on iPhone 4 yet.

  • Silentbomb

    It also happens to my iphone 3GS

  • Shankartaniwa

    I had to return the first Iphone 4 I bought on launch day because the screen started going progressively haywire. It was as if it were possessed by the devil the way the screen would activate and all these unregistered gestures would start popping up programs, apps, txting contacts gibberish, deleting contacts. They replaced the phone with a new one. A defective device I suppose

  • Ron

    This is a preference. When you receive a text message or a phone call, you can set it to vibrate several times after a few minutes if you don't read your message or answer the phone.

    Unfortunately, it doesn't also show anything on the screen if you already had viewed the screen. There might actually be a bug with this functionality, but if you turn off the setting you might find the vibrating stops.

    I can't recall right now how to change it, but it is a preference in the Settings app.

  • Chris

    Odd.. I never experienced this issue on my previous iPhones. Maybe I wasn't clear enough in the post.

    It doesn't vibrate like when you receive a notification. It is a very subtle vibration. Almost non-existent, which is why I thought I was going crazy the first few times it happened.

  • Is this the start of Vibrate-gate? πŸ˜‰

  • Is this the start of Vibrate-gate? πŸ˜‰

  • Ron

    Check your preferences. The reminder vibration isn't as long as the original vibration.

  • Ron

    The preference is here:

    Settings->Messages->Repeat Alert

  • Wen

    speaker vibration? was your phone playing any sound at the moment it vibrates?

  • Mitchell R.

    I realize this has nothing to do with the above topic but I would just like to say thank you to you and all of the other authors on this website. I've been counting down the days until I get my iPhone 4 for quite awhile now and I've moved up to 9th on the waiting list at my nearest Bell store so I'm really hoping that today's the day for me! And does anyone have any suggestions on which case I should get? Are there many to choose from? I've been looking for some sort of list but I can't seem to find anything. Please email me if you can help me choose a good case that can withstand a few accidental droppings at! Again, I understand how relevant this comment is to the thread BUT, I didn't know where else to say this. Thank you for doing such a great job. Really, thanks.

  • Thanks for reading Mitchell! Good luck with your iPhone 4!

  • Houtan



    FRS – “False Ringtone Syndrome”:
    The sensation one gets when he/she feels as if his/her cellphone is ringing/vibrating only to look at the cellphone and discover that there is no such ringtone, and the sensation was a false one.

  • There are not many cases yet out for the iPhone 4, but stay tuned to this blog, because we'll be covering lots of case reviews in the coming months. I'm personally going to become obsessed with protecting my new favorite device πŸ™‚

  • My 3G just started doing this…since the new iOS 4.01…however I thought mine was due to a hardware problem – the sleep/wake button seems to be very sensitive now and bumping the iPhone causes it to vibrate in my pocket…

  • Ellard

    Yes, I've been experiencing it the whole day, 5-6 times, vibrating without no reason

  • Half_Pint

    I have the same problem, but not when I'm carrying the phone. πŸ˜‰

  • warpdrive

    I've had the sounds from the phone only come through the ear piece a few times. Only seems to happen when skype is running in the background. Turn skype right off and things go back to normal. Happens to my wife's phone as well. Strange days indeed!

  • Roby145

    Same problem here. Weird, eh?

  • Blentron

    Yes, I thought that I was experiencing what I like to call “phantom ringing” where I think I'm getting a call or a text message while it's in my breast pocket at work.
    At least I know I'm not slowly going insane!

  • Me

    Did you just jailbreaked your phone?

  • Allan

    I bought a casemate that has tire tracks on the back. It's rubber and it also comes with a plastic screen protector. Not the greatest screen protector, but it'll do until you get your free case from apple. Also install the free case app, because you get a pretty good choice of cases for free. Unfortunently it'll take minimum 4 weeks to arrive, but beggars can't be choosers. Also, bestbuy will install the ZAGG invisibleshield for $10. So you have a pretty good choice of ways to go. Good luck, this phone is absolutely crazy. The screen on it and the camera are so brilliant. Anyways enjoy my friend.

  • Leopard Mac Man

    Hearing aid? lol.

  • wargamer17

    My 3G sometimes turns on by itself. I'll have it in my pocket or I'll pick it up from a table and the lock screen is on. I don't press any buttons either. It happens randomly. Can't do it on command.

  • doob

    HI Allan, I was wondering if you can tell me which location is installing the invisibleshield. Im in toronto.


  • Mitchell R.

    Thanks everybody!!!

  • Ben Senise

    could it be one of the apps in the background doing this? one of the things that i noticed about the new iPhone is that ALL of the apps that you open STAY open in the background unless you go into the multi-task manager (whatever it's called) and kill the apps there.
    i wish there were a choice of really quitting an app rather than leaving it running in the background. yes, i realize that the app's functionality is very limited when it's in the background but still.
    why don't you kill all your apps and see if this still happens?

  • dnabyun

    Even when I take number 2, my phone isn't no where near my groin, it's sitting on the ground in my pant's pocket, I see feel the vibration on my side groin area. It's not the phone.. we're messed up. πŸ™‚

  • dnabyun

    oops, didn't check my writing.. not “See”, just feel πŸ˜›

  • Sviato

    this actually happens to me with my krzr phone. i got it about 2 years ago and have always kept it in the front right pocket of pants/shorts when i have it on me.

    pretty much your body gets used to feeling the vibration in that spot so often that even if you don't have the phone there (or when you do), you often feel a familiar vibration in that spot, altho it's not as hard as a regular phone vibration. so you naturally check your phone but theres no text or call or anything, its like your muscle or something

  • MT

    There is a spot on the top left of my 3G (on the black bezel that isn't supposed to be touch-sensitive) where if I touvh it, it vibrates and shows the “ringer off” icon on the screen. It's done this since the iOS4 update (at least, I've only noticed it since then).

  • Andrew H

    i got mine done at the leaside location they manager of the mobile section did it and was very good and pleasant couldnt have done it better myself….he was also very fast took him like 10 minutes

  • Anonymous

    lol…. you naughty people installed the vibrator app ?

  • Anonymous

    must be vibrating it when it reads your mind and kinky thoughts…lol

  • nixco

    Welcome people. I just wanted to ask this question, should have buy the iphone 4 even with the antennagate or wai till next year. I waited and waited for this iphone 4. I am using a BB but my cousin kinda convinced me but i want peoples opinion

  • nixco

    Sorry kinda tired. I meant to say, should i buy the iphone 4 lool not should have buy the iphone 4. Sorry people

  • DjDATZ

    You could be clipping the silent switch with something beside your iPhone… it shouldn't take much if we're going by what my old 3G did.

    Can't wait to get back to Canada and get my iPhone 4! Here in Hong Kong, people already have it, and I just want to take it and NOM it. Not even steal it… just NOM it.

  • thisisme

    Could it be that your phone is just “thinking”? It is pretty much a little pocket computer. It might just be loading something or using the push feature to send or receive data and as a result is vibrating a bit as it loads or what not?

    Just a thought….

  • giantjoe

    I had wicked phantom vibrations with my iPhone3G. I've now got the iPhone4, and after reading this aricle, I've realized the phantom vibrations are gone. My iPhone4 doesn't have them.

  • Winonatorres

    I noticed that too but then i realized it was vibrating coz people message me at my facebook chat. It had no push notifications, just vibrations.

  • Mr Burau

    Yah my shit does the same thing and im here for the answer but there an’t none

  • Alyvia

    Same thing happened to me today. I was holding it and it only buzzed once. since im waiting on ppl to call/text/email me, I got excited bc I thought it was the emails I was waiting for. But it wasnt. Just my retarded phone buzzing at random times.

  • mrsLeary

    Β This is what is happening to me. I think I might have dropped it too many times on its side.

  • This started happening to me too just after I did a Reset because my Facebook app wasn’t working properly. Now I wish I had just left my FB error. This is so annoying and happens all day and all night. HELP!

  • Oh and it is not plugged in, it does the quick double vibrate that it usually does when I get a message, etc. but it is slightly weaker. Happens on my desk, in my hand, in my pocket, in my purse or wherever it is and it is NOT my mind doing it. In fact, it does it every few minutes and it is driving me bonkers. The screen does not light up so it is not your average alert. Again, only started happening when I did a hard reset. PLEASE HELP!

  • MoriKitsune

    That may have been it, but then other people noticed the phone was vibtating (i.e. when it was on the table, and vibrated for no reason)