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Apple patent reveals three-lens, three-sensor iPhone camera

Back of iPhone
The back of the iPhone 5.

Your point-and-shoot is living on borrowed time. Recently released devices such as the Nokia Lumia 1020 and Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom have some of the most powerful cameras of any smartphone, and Apple may be planning their own optic innovation for future iPhones. According to a patent granted by the USPTO Tuesday, the California-based manufacturer secured the right to create a triple-lens, triple-sensor image capture device that would allow for unprecedented color quality.

The patent's abstract states that the technology will utilize one image sensor for luminance and two for chrominance. Each of these sensors will have an accompanying lens assembly that will help direct incoming light. This combination of sensors and lenses has the potential to eliminate "blind" spots in photos, since the chrominance and luminance sensors can create a composite image that would fill in color information that might normally be lost due to near field objects.

More: Apple iPhone 5S leaked specs show 12-MP camera, same CPU

Apple isn't likely to implement this new technology into the iPhone anytime soon, but it could become a major selling point for its smartphones in the future. This patent arrives on the heels of a variety of rumors regarding the future of the iPhone's camera, as the next iPhone could potentially launch with a 12MP lens.

With Nokia, HTC and Samsung consistently improving the power of their smartphone cameras, the iPhone faces some steep competition. Apple enthusiasts will have to wait until September to see if the iPhone will once again bring innovation to the realm of phone photography.