iPhone 6 Will Have an Interchangeable Camera Lens? Apple Secures Patent Before Release

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By Precious Silva | January 31, 2014 6:43 PM EST

The iPhone 6 has become one of the most awaited devices of the year. With leaks and analyses around, it appears Apple has been investing greatly on its upcoming device. Additionally, a new patent approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for Apple hints that the iPhone 6 may feature interchangeable lenses. 

Reuters
The gold colored version of the new iPhone 5S is seen after Apple Inc's media event in Cupertino, California September 10, 2013.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office approved U.S. Patent No. 8,638,369 for a "Back panel for a portable electronic device with different camera lens options" and No. 8,639,106 for a "Magnetic add-on lenses with alignment ridge" to Apple just recently. 

AppleInsider also reported previously about the '369 patent. The patent was first sighted in 2012. It was published as an application. The property or unit featured in the application shows a portable electronic device similar to the iPhone. The device sports an imaging subsystem complete with removable panel plus optical components. 

In reality, the subsystem will serve as the foundation of the camera system. This pertains to the lens and imaging sensor. The removable case part features components that have the capacity to tweak optical characteristics of the system. A wide-angle lens attachment is a simple example. As for the more sophisticated application, this includes electrical models for zoom and image stabilization.

A number of components require the panel to be attached to the power supply of the device. The components have to be connected to the power source to run a range of sensors. It is also important for optical zoom, optical image stabilization and mechanical shutter functions. 

The approved patent was filed last 2010. Richard Tsai was credited as the inventor. 

Apple has another camera-related patent. This deals with a magnetically-attachable camera module. The module can fit into a portable electronic housing or iPhone. This extends the on-board imaging capabilities of the device. 

According to the document, the device will have an alignment feature included it is housing. The feature will allow for another camera add-on module to be connected. This will work with the on-board system's optical axis. There are also two ways of connecting the module described in the document. It can be an interesting feature on the iPhone 6. People will have to wait for official confirmation from Apple if it will be included in the flagship phone.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
The gold colored version of the new iPhone 5S is seen after Apple Inc's media event in Cupertino, California September 10, 2013.
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