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Apple Reportedly Experimenting On Dual Lens Camera Technology

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For three years, Apple has been reportedly tinkering with dual-lens cameras for its iPhones, but problems with the technology and production have forced it to push back putting the new cameras into its devices.

Dual-lens cameras have already found their way into some Android flagships, particularly those from HTC and Huawei, while Apple's iPhones still sport single-lens cameras that, for all the seeming backwardness of the technology, continue to be one of the best smartphone cameras out there.

However, a new report coming out of Taiwan's Business Weekly suggests [via GforGames] Apple is planning to push dual-lens cameras into its iPhones once it has conquered the two major obstacles preventing it from doing so.

The news outlet cites Altek CEO Xiaru Wen, who heads the company that manufactures dual-lens cameras for HTC and Huawei, saying Apple's biggest challenge was finding the right supplier that can manufacture the amount of dual lenses that Apple needs.

That problem seems to have met its solution, as the Business Weekly reports Linen Ping, CEO of Largan, the company that manufactured 80 percent of camera lenses for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, previously announced that his company is preparing to double its production capacity. While Ping did not mention Largan's client, the news outlet speculates that the doubled production accounts for Apple's new dual lenses.

The second problem is a little more technical. Dual-lens cameras, when not configured with the right software, can cause blurred images because of optical axis deviation. For this problem, Apple has decided not to pour its resources into its own labs to try and figure out the solution. Instead, it took $20 million, merely a small amount in its massive cash reserve, and purchased a company called LinX Imaging to provide the solution.

Earlier in June, LinX announced the successful development of the first multi-aperture dual-lens cameras, which it said was ready for integration into smartphones. The new technology claims to be able to produce images of SLR-like quality, and LinX has the evidence [pdf] to prove it.

However, while it seems like it is all systems go for Apple's new dual-lens cameras, it is not likely we will be seeing the new technology in the next new iPhone expected to be unveiled this year.

Photo: Susanne Nilsson | Flickr

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