Apple no longer offers the best cameraphone on the market, at least according to some experts, but the company may have a few tricks up its sleeve to change that. A patent awarded to the Cupertino company on Thursday reveals how future iPhones could ship with some awesome new photography features.
The concept for a “small form factor telephoto camera” was originally submitted to the U.S. patent office by Apple back in October 2013. It was finally approved on Thursday, revealing how the company could beef up future iPhones. Essentially, the technology would make the camera’s zoom a lot more powerful without sacrificing image quality.
The patent dives into a lot of the specific details of how the new camera could work, using some complex math and a few sketches we’ve included above. Apple also suggests the new telephoto camera could work in conjunction with the wide-angle lens included in current iPhones. Combined, that could make for a pretty sweet camera.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that Apple will use any of these ideas in the near future, though the company may need to beef up its camera if it wants to take back the mobile photography crown. Previous Cupertino patents have also hinted at more accurate colors and a possible super-resolution shooter, so clearly Apple has a few different ideas.