It seems Apple is determined to stay at the forefront of smartphone imaging. According to French newspaper Dauphiné Libéré, the iPhone-maker is planning to open a dedicated imaging research laboratory in Grenoble, France. The focus of the new facility will be on image sensors and technology for iOS devices. 

The reports say that an Apple team has been working on imaging at the Minatec European research center in Grenoble for over a year, but now the company wants to establish its own lab and has recently signed a lease for a building that offers 800 square meters of floor space. This will provide space for a team of approximately 30 engineers and the equipment needed for sensor development.

The Dauphiné Libéré article also says that work on iPhone and iPad sensors will be undertaken in collaboration with STMicroelectronics, which previously has been an Apple supplier. It's good to see smartphone manufacturers investing in imaging, and we may find that the upcoming iPhone 7 generation will come with some technology that has been, at least partially, developed in France.