Patently Apple found a patent published today by the US Patent & Trademark Office, describing the functionality and use of a still or video camera in the iPhone and/or iPod touch (generally described as “a portable device”).  The patent, which was filed on June 5, 2009 (just 14 days before the unveiling of the iPhone 3GS), includes a picture of the portable device with a camera lens located on the back left side.  Obviously, the iPhone’s lens is located on the back right side of the device, which leads Patently Apple to believe that the device pictured is, in fact, the iPod touch. As many of you will remember, the iPod touch was believed to be gaining a camera last August, but strangely it did not.

This patent garners even more attention due to the recent discovery in the iPad SDK (“iPhone 3.2 SDK”) of a reference to taking a picture with a built-in camera (something the iPad doesn’t have).  As we know, Apple’s traditional iPod refresh season falls in August, though they did add more storage to the device in February 2008.

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The entire patent can be viewed here.

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