Apple has purchased Israeli camera technology company LinX Imaging for approximately $20 million, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
LinX specializes in creating multi-aperture camera equipment for mobile devices and it's possible that Apple will use the company's technology in upcoming iOS devices, according to the Mac Rumors website.
Last year, LinX announced the launch of miniature multi-aperture cameras half the height of standard mobile cameras with the ability to create "stunning color images and high accuracy depth maps" for SLR image quality without the bulk of an SLR camera.
LinX's technology uses software to extract depth information for each pixel to create a depth map for that can also be used for 3D image reconstruction, Mac Rumors said.
LinX's website is now defunct, according to the report, but the company offered products with two, three, and four camera arrays in multiple configurations and sizes. Its most recent technology was downscaled enough to be ready for use in mobile devices.
Mac Rumors further noted that LinX technology includes several other improvements Apple could potentially take advantage of, including multiple sensors for a smaller size, better sensitivity to light, and greatly improved image quality in low light.
There have been rumors suggesting Apple's iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will offer much improved dual-lens camera technology with image quality on par with SLR cameras, which could be made possible through mobile camera advancements like those LinX Imaging has worked on.
Apple would not confirm the purchase of LinX Imaging, only telling The Wall Street Journal, "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."
Israeli startups often attract the attention of large companies. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba recently made its first investment in Israel and later announced that it is partnering with venture capital firm JVP (Jerusalem Venture Partners) to invest in promising startups.
In 2013, it was widely speculated that Apple would purchase the popular Israeli navigation app Waze, but the app was ultimately bought by another giant, Google.