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Huawei & Camera-Maker Leica Announce New Partnership

February 25, 2016 - Written By Mihai Matei

Numerous smartphones today cater to the needs of a wide range of consumers. Each individual or prospective customer might find certain smartphones more appealing than others on the basis of various features that could be more or less useful to them. Nevertheless, most people can agree that a smartphone’s camera became one of the main deciding factors when it comes to purchasing a new handset, and this is why many smartphone makers are locked in a race to deliver the best camera performance currently possible. Huawei seems to be on the same page as well, as the Chinese smartphone maker recently announced its newfound partnership with German camera manufacturer Leica.

The partnership was announced in Japan during the CP+ Camera & Photo imaging show, which began earlier today and is set to end on Sunday, February 28. Although it’s not entirely clear where the collaboration will lead, the official press release states that both companies are set to combine their expertise in a “long-term commitment to the art of craftsmanship” in order to “create a powerhouse in the reinvention of smartphone photography”. On the face of it, this could mean one of two things: either Huawei intends to up its camera game by fitting its future smartphones with high-quality modules manufactured in collaboration with Leica, or perhaps the Chinese company intends on borrowing a page from Panasonic’s book, and release a camera-smartphone hybrid similar to the Panasonic Lumix CM1. However, unlike Panasonic, Huawei is first and foremost a smartphone manufacturer who doesn’t have any prior experience with high-end cameras, and it’s not likely for this to change soon. Besides, smartphone-camera hybrids with bulky shooters and optical zoom (similar to the Samsung Galaxy K Zoom) don’t seem to have been extremely successful so far, and it would be an odd move of Huawei’s to join this particular market segment.

Whatever the case may be, Huawei clearly intends to make a bigger name for itself in the smartphone camera department, and teaming up with Leica might be just what the company needs to increase its market presence outside of China, where Huawei is considered the second most influential smartphone maker after Xiaomi.