Apple patents swappable lenses for iPhone

Shutter nutters rejoice: interchangeable back plates could boost the iPhone’s photography skills

Apple is always patenting some crazy ideas for its future devices, but this one sounds particularly intriguing – particularly if you’re one of the many photography nuts who wishes they could get more out of the iPhone’s camera.

Engadget has uncovered a patent application that would make the iPhone’s rear panel removeable and replaceable, essentially allowing the user to add new filters and lenses. One way, as outlined in the filing, would be to feature two lenses on opposite corners of a single backplate: you’d take it off, flip it round and replace it to switch to the other lens.

Great as this sounds, we wouldn’t get too excited. First, Apple files dozens of patents that will likely never be used (mainly to stop its rivals from implementing similar ideas); and second, the company isn’t known for embracing removeable parts on its products – every generation of the iPhone’s non-opening case being, er, a case in point. But we can dream…

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