The company has been working on a "folded camera" for years. That folded system could allow Apple to reduce the physical bulk of an iPhone's camera without compromising on features like telescopic zoom or optical image stabilisation.
In its most recent patent covering similar technology, granted on July 13 by the US Patent and Trademark Office, the tech giant continues to detail how a folded or periscope-like camera system could work, AppleInsider reported on Tuesday.
The patent, simply titled "Folded camera," details a system that includes "two light folding elements such as prisms and an independent lens system, located between the two prisms, which includes an aperture stop and a lens stack."
Although the camera doesn't mention physical bulk, such a system could help reduce the size of the camera bump.AAdditionally, Apple appears to be placing specific emphasis on allowing high-resolution images and complex camera technologies such as autofocus or optical image stabilization (OIS).
"The lens system may be moved on one or more axes independently of the prisms to provide autofocus and/or optical image stabilization for the camera,"Athe patent reads.
"The shapes, materials and arrangements of the refractive lens elements in the lens stack may be selected to capture high resolution, high-quality images while providing a sufficiently long back focal length to accommodate the second prism," it added.
According to the patent, conventional small cameras used in mobile devices "tend to capture images at lower resolutions and/or with lower image quality than can be achieved with larger, higher-quality cameras."
Additionally, there are consumer expectations for smaller cameras to be equipped with higher pixel counts, larger pixel size image sensors and more powerful photosensors.