The guys at Apple Insider have spotted another camera-related Apple patent at the US Patent Office. A few months ago Apple patented a magnetic lens mount. This time the iPhone maker from Cupertino is looking at interchangeable lenses for mobile devices that will attach via a bayonet mount, just like on a DSLR or mirrorless system camera.
Most patents never turn into a product but if Apple decides to bring the bayonet mount to market you might be able to attach fish-eye, wide-angle, macro or tele lenses to future generation of iPhones, iPads and iPods, without the help of additional cases or clips.
The mount shown in the patent file is designed to securely attach a lens or accessory and at the same time alter the product design of the device only minimally. The lens mount protrudes only very slightly from the smartphone's rear and should therefore please fans of Apple's less-is-more approach to product design. It's also designed to release the lens on a hard impact without a twist in order to minimize potential damage to the lens and device if it was dropped.
Having an easy and standardized method of attaching lenses and accessories to an iPhone without the need for special cases or clips should be appealing to enthusiast mobile photographers and more casual users alike. However to make the iPhone even more of a creative tool, Apple should not stop there and also think about sensor sizes, manual controls and other options. In any case it's good to see Apple is, like most other mobile manufacturers, constantly looking at ways to improve the imaging capabilities of its devices. One more reason to look forward to the Apple new product announcements that are expected for September.