Leica Is Entering the Smartphone Market in a Big Way

Posted by on Thursday February 25, 2016 | Camera

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Leica isn’t the first name you think of when you think of smartphone photography. If anything, you’d be forgiven for lumping them in with those who turn their nose up at the thought.

You would also be wrong.

Leica is pairing up with the powerhouse Chinese brand HUAWEI (the third largest smartphone maker in the world)  to develop smartphone camera technology.

The details of the partnership are very vague, consisting of a press release indicating that Lecia would bring its “proveptical expertise into a new product segment.” That sounds to us like Leica lenses–and maybe even the iconic red dot–coming soon to a HUAWEI smartphone near you.

According to the statement released by both companies, the partnership will span research and development, design, co-engineering, user experience, marketing and retail distribution. In response to our question, a Leica representative said that the company would bring “its comprehensive expertise in optical engineering to the partnership. Leica will support Huawei in its efforts to achieve the best possible imaging results in the field of smartphone photography – and to take it to the next level of quality.”

This isn’t Leica’s first pass at the smartphone market, though. The company’s optics were used in Panasonic’s hybrid phone/camera, the CM1. But judging from the fanfare, it looks like a more ambitious approach. Stay tuned.


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