Apple patent for an interchangeable camera lens for the iPhone
The US Patent and Trademark Office has approved an Apple patent for an interchangeable camera lens for the iPhoneUS Patent and Trademark Office

Apple has been granted a patent for interchangeable camera lenses - which could be used on the up-coming iPhone 6. The application was granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office yesterday, according to Patently Apple.

How the Apple interchangeable camera lens would work
How the Apple interchangeable camera lens would workUS Patent and Trademark Office

Patent No. 8,687,299 has been granted to Apple today for "Bayonet attachment mechanisms," i.e. a bayonet mount that is able to securely attach lenses to an iOS device, such as an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.

A bayonet mount is a fastening mechanism which is typically seen on cameras, used to attach lenses to the camera body.

At the moment, there is no adjustable camera lens system in existence for smartphones, although there are lots of third party macro lens products that consumers can buy to clip onto their smartphone.

Inventors

Apple's patent application credits the inventors of the bayonet mount, Emery Sanford and Dominic Toselli, who originally filed their patent in the third quarter of 2012.

According to the patent, most of the bayonets are hidden in the camera, protruding only slightly above the back casing.

The lens can be adjusted and rotated with the help of interleaving bayonets until the lens system locks securely into place, after which the mechanism stops the lens and bayonets from rotating further in order to prevent mechanical damage.

Although Apple has filed similar patents in the past to do with interchangeable lenses, the speed that the patent was approved and recent rumours that the upcoming iPhone 6 will feature a protruding rear camera similar to the fifth-generation iPod Nano are rife.

Apple's interchangeable camera lens fits into the back casing of an iPhone
Apple's interchangeable camera lens fits into the back casing of an iPhoneUS Patent and Trademark Office