Leica, Huawei partnership looks to ‘reinvent’ smartphone camera tech

Strange relationships come in all shapes and sizes, but this is perhaps the most unexpected.

Chinese smartphone giant Huawei has announced a partnership with German camera stalwart Leica to “create a powerhouse in the reinvention of smartphone photography.”

Smartphone camera technology has been the focus of many manufacturers of late, with LG offering a manual mode on its LG G4, and Samsung dedicating much of its S6 marketing campaign to the camera.

Huawei has also seen the smartphone camera as a critical selling point, with the Mate S boasting intelligent new filming and snapping modes. The new relationship with Leica will likely further cement this drive.

“We choose our partners carefully,” explains Huawei’s CEO Richard Yu, “and with this extraordinary collaboration we are offering our wide customer base and consumers the best elements of two expert brands in harmony: combining innovation and design, enhancing the user experience and continuing to inspire amazing advancement in human technology through exceptional premium imaging quality.”

Related: A Cape Town summer through the Huawei Mate S camera [Gallery]

“Leica is a legend in the world of photography; we believe no other manufacturer has revolutionised the industry as much as them. We, Huawei, take the utmost pride in exceptional quality and Leica is in a class of its own in its sector.”

Leica has been operating for over a century now and has somewhat endured the death of technologies, from film to cheap digital cameras. A shift to smartphone photography however breathes new life into the company, Leica CEO Oliver Kaltner explains:

Smartphones make a very important contribution to the world of photography and open an important door for Leica to new target groups and fields of application.

And considering that Huawei is the world’s third biggest smartphone manufacturer, the deal makes financial sense for the German company.

The partnership will span “research and development, design, co-engineering, user experience, marketing and retail distribution,” but more granular details will be made known at a later date.

Andy Walker, former editor


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