Apple was granted a patent for a periscope camera system which is tipped to be implemented in iPhone models from 2022 in an attempt by the company to address challenges for small modules to create high-resolution photography.

The US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) granted the patent today (13 July), allowing Apple to use a new technology which 9to5 Mac reported supports ten-times optical zoom compared with the four-times available in its current iPhone 12 Pro.

Apple’s “folded camera” invention consists of an independent lens system located between two light folding elements, such as prisms.

The system offers a “folded” optical axis and can provide autofocus and optical image stabilisation.

Apple originally applied to the PTO for the patent in early 2019: at the time it explained its technology aimed  to simultaneously meet a growing need for compact cameras in mobile devices and expectations for high imaging quality performance.