Huawei enlists Leica to boost its smartphone camera tech

Chinese smartphone maker Huawei and elite German camera maker Leica have announced an unexpected partnership.

While most eyes are currently on MWC 2016 in Barcelona, over in Japan the CP+ camera show is currently underway.

One choice bit of news to emerge from the first day of the show is an eye-catching deal between Huawei and Leica. The two companies have announced a “long-term technology partnership” that means nothing less than “the reinvention of smartphone photography.”

Huawei, of course, has become the third biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world in recent times. It was also hand-pocked to create Google’s current Android flagship phone, the Nexus 6P.

Despite its success, it hasn’t made a massive dent in Western markets, nor has it been seen as a leader in the smartphone photography field. This collaboration with the luxury camera brand could change that.

Exactly how this partnership will pan out is unclear at this point. Most of the language seems to hint at more of a branding exercise and a business opportunity than any great innovation.

However, the press release does say that Leica wants to “introduce its proven optical expertise into a new product segment”. Elsewhere, Leica’s “comprehensive expertise in optical engineering” is mentioned in conjunction with achieving “the best possible imaging results in the field of smartphone photography.”

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Expect future Huawei flagship phones to sport Leica lenses, then, much like the Leica lens-sporting Panasonic CM1 (pictured).

Could this be the brand boost that Huawei needs to extend its reach into the West?

Let us know what you think of the Huawei-Leica partnership in the comments below.

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