A new patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday revealed that Cupertino-based Apple is working on an improved camera system that will reportedly allow users to reconfigure and replace the lens of the iPhone. The patent application, entitled “Back Panel for a Portable Electronic Device with Different Camera Lens Options”, highlights an iPhone-like smartphone with a camera situated at the top-left corner of the device.

The patent application explains that as the quality of digital images taken with highly compact devices increases, users will usually seek even more sophisticated features typically only found with high-end digital cameras. The filing added that it would be desirable to provide a structure that allows the end user to reconfigure the optical arrangement of the device while retaining the benefits of assembling the device using a pre-assembled digital imaging subsystem.

Apple’s solution will allegedly include a portable device that has a digital imaging subsystem and lens that will have an optical axis. The said device, similar to that of the iPhone, will reportedly include a removable back panel that will expose the digital imaging subsystem once removed.

Apple Insider, who first spotted the patent application, commented that Apple’s new patent filing is special because photography was one of the markets that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs wanted to reinvent. It will be interesting to see swappable iPhone camera lenses in the future. If this one pushes through, will you be among those willing to spend a few bucks for it?

Filed in Apple. Read more about Camera and Patent.

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