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Home / News / Apple patents swappable lenses for iPhone

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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Profile image of Dan Grabham Dan Grabham Editor-in-Chief


Dan is Editor-in-chief of Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website.  Our Editor-in-Chief is a regular at tech shows such as CES in Las Vegas, IFA in Berlin and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as well as at other launches and events. He has been a CES Innovation Awards judge. Dan is completely platform agnostic and very at home using and writing about Windows, macOS, Android and iOS/iPadOS plus lots and lots of gadgets including audio and smart home gear, laptops and smartphones. He's also been interviewed and quoted in a wide variety of places including The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4, Sky News Radio and BBC Local Radio.

Areas of expertise

Computing, mobile, audio, smart home

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