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An iPhone with interchangeable lenses? (pictures)

A new patent in Apple's quiver seems to suggest the company's not done disrupting the camera industry.

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James Martin
James Martin is the Managing Editor of Photography at CNET. His photos capture technology's impact on society - from the widening wealth gap in San Francisco, to the European refugee crisis and Rwanda's efforts to improve health care. From the technology pioneers of Google and Facebook, photographing Apple's Steve Jobs and Tim Cook, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Google's Sundar Pichai, to the most groundbreaking launches at Apple and NASA, his is a dream job for any documentary photography and journalist with a love for technology. Exhibited widely, syndicated and reprinted thousands of times over the years, James follows the people and places behind the technology changing our world, bringing their stories and ideas to life.
James Martin
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An iPhone with interchangeable lenses?

Photographers always say the best camera is the one you have with you at the moment you need it.

As smartphones have evolved, they have become the go-to camera for millions of people. As it is now, the iPhone carries a powerful little camera. For many people, it has replaced the point-and-shoot as their always-there pocket camera.

But a new patent in Apple's quiver seems to suggest the company's not done disrupting the camera industry. Apple might have its sights set on DSLRs and mirror-less cameras. This new patent suggests that Apple is looking into creating an iPhone with interchangeable lenses.

These figures, taken from a recently filed patent, show a phone with a removable back that allows the swapping out of lenses. Is this the future of iPhotography?
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Interchangeable lenses

An optical component is supported by the removable panel such that the optical component is aligned with the optical axis and alters optical characteristics of the digital imaging subsystem. The device may include a power supply and an electronic control system coupled to the digital imaging subsystem and the power supply enclosed in and supported by the case. Electrical connectors may couple the power supply and the electronic control system to an electrical component on the removable panel.
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Next generation iPhoneography

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Flip the panel to switch lenses

Images taken from the patent also suggest that Apple could make a removable rear panel featuring two lenses -- one on each end. That would give users the option to switch lenses simply by flipping the rear panel around.

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