PRESS RELEASE: HUAWEI and Leica Camera announce partnership for the reinvention of smartphone photography

PRESS RELEASE FROM LEICA:

HUAWEI and Leica Camera announce long-term technology partnership for the reinvention of smartphone photography

Leaders in the smartphone and photographic worlds come together to create a premium visual world renaissance

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[Wetzlar, 25th February, 2016] Today HUAWEI Consumer Business Group (BG) and Leica Camera AG are delighted to announce the start of a strategic partnership, a co-operation with shared premium ambitions and spirit, which will see both technology and photography brands combining their shared ethos in a long-term commitment to the art of craftsmanship, meticulous engineering and the spirit of winning collaboration, to create a powerhouse in the reinvention of smartphone photography.

In 2012, HUAWEI became the world’s third-largest smartphone manufacturer and was the first Chinese company to sell more than 100 million mobile phones in one year in 2015. The first Chinese brand to appear on the prestigious Interbrand Best Global Brands list in 2014, HUAWEI soared to number 88 in 2015 whilst launching the globally critically acclaimed HUAWEI Watch and HUAWEI P8. In 2016, HUAWEI looks to build on its success with Leica Camera: a mutually beneficial collaboration with the most iconic name in the photographic world to bring joint superior excellence to consumers.

For over 100 years, premium iconic camera manufacturer Leica Camera has been creating lightweight cameras favoured by street photographer pioneers and world-class optical lenses, fulfilling the passions of its community. With ingenious optical engineering and formidable craftsmanship, Leica cameras, recognisable by their ‘red dot’ branding, are

German engineering at its best, and continue to attract new generations of consumers who aspire to achieve “the Leica look” and own these masterpieces of design. In addition to making precision-crafted masterpieces, Leica supports prominent photographers and emerging new talent around the world.

Richard Yu, CEO of the HUAWEI Consumer BG said: “We choose our partners carefully, 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. 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.”

Oliver Kaltner, CEO of Leica Camera AG said: “The strategic alliance between HUAWEI and Leica Camera demonstrates the desire of two rapidly growing and globally active brands to continuously push the envelope of the technologically possible. In addition to innovative strength and premium standards, our two companies are united by the commitment to uncompromising quality. The technology partnership with HUAWEI offers Leica Camera an excellent opportunity to introduce its proven optical expertise into a new product segment and to unlock exciting business areas in the field of mobile devices. 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.”

“The legendary status of the Leica brand is founded on a long tradition of innovation, highest precision and craftsmanship. I’m pleased and convinced that the traditional German medium-sized company Leica Camera will bring its values and comprehensive expertise in optical engineering to the long-term partnership with HUAWEI in order to achieve the best possible imaging results in the field of smartphone photography – and to take it to the next level of quality”, emphasizes Dr Andreas Kaufmann, majority shareholder and chairman of the supervisory board of Leica Camera AG.

More details on the culmination of HUAWEI and Leica’s partnership, which will span

research and development, design, co-engineering, user experience, marketing and retail distribution, will be shared as the partnership continues.

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About Leica Camera

Leica Camera AG is an internationally operating, premium-segment manufacturer of cameras and sport optics products. The legendary status of the Leica brand is founded on a long tradition of excellence in the construction of lenses. And today, in combination with innovative technologies, Leica products continue to guarantee better pictures in all situations in the worlds of visualisation and perception. Leica Camera AG has its headquarters in Wetzlar, in the state of Hesse in Germany, and a second production site in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal. The company operates branch offices in China, England, France, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, South Korea, Italy, Australia and the USA. New and innovative products have been the driving force behind the company’s positive development in recent years.

About HUAWEI Consumer Business Group

HUAWEIs products and services are available in more than 170 countries and are used by a third of the world’s population, ranking third in the world in mobile phone shipments in 2014. Sixteen R&D centers have been set up in the United States, Germany, Sweden, Russia, India, and China. HUAWEI Consumer Business Group is one of HUAWEIs three business units and covers smartphones, mobile broadband devices, home devices and cloud services. HUAWEIs global network is built on 20 years of expertise in the telecom industry and is dedicated to delivering the latest technological advances to consumers around the world.

16 Comments

  1. Not $ure about this one (but remember it’s up to the People who decide what takes off-Price being a deciding factor-Does this mean A Leica for anyone wi$hing to go to K-mart and ask the sale rep Yeah I want the Leica smart phone on Clearance.
    Yoda: Allways in motion the future-I still love film M bodies 3-4-6 but this seems to be another type of Camera-Apple is overpriced in my humble opinion.
    I’m assuming the Chinese makers will lower the price but Leica is to blame as well!
    It’s a poor artist who blames the instrument another way of seeing that’s all folks.

  2. Big words. We’ll see.

    Initially I was very excited about the Panasonic CM1. But I didn’t buy it. I still prefer carrying a smartphone and a Ricoh GR together. The reason might be, that the CM1 tied a reasonable good camera to rapidly aging smartphone technology at a steep price. The phone part is outdated way too quick in order to justify the high price. That would be even more the case in a true Leica smartphone, I guess.

  3. Leica are very astute getting involved in the smart phone market. This is positive for photography as a whole even though I love my M cameras and my film – which I think will continue but times they are a changing !

  4. It’s kind of quaint, like a brilliant but slightly stuck-in-his-ways old uncle who is told by his nephew he needs to get a new wardrobe, so goes out and buys clothes that were cool 5 years ago on someone 30 years younger. He does’t really attract a negative response ’cause he’s kind of clueless but everyone just kind of laughs knowingly and waits until he drops the backwards baseball cap and puts the same old woollen cardigan back on every day.

    • If you knew anything about the turbulent past of Leica in the digital age, then this post about a slow witted uncle and his stuck-in-the-mud ways would never have appeared.

      Look at the current Leica camera line-up. Is this a dim-witted uncle in his slippers waiting for the incontinent pants and finally the Grim Reaper?

      Nope.

      Oliver Kilter (46) is the new chairman of the executive board, from 1 April 2015. Expect more of the same from Leica, there is a reason why Germany, bombed almost out off the map by 1945 is the powerhouse of Europe and the architect of the European Union.

      And why Porsche is a tower of strength, think about their product line 10 or 15yrs ago. 911. 911. 911. Volkswagen AG agreed to 50.76% of Volkswagen AG being owned by Porsche SE – so the similarities are there to see.

      As of the end of 2013, the 50.76% control interest in VW AG is the predominant investment by Porsche SE, and Volkswagen AG in turn controls brands and companies such as Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, Skoda, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche AG, Ducati, VW Commercial Vehicles, Scania, MAN, as well as Volkswagen Financial Services.

      Now, in hindsight, and going forward, do you better comprehend where Leica are headed?

  5. Huawei is a Kmart equivalent why? Because its a Chinese company? Your Iphone is made in China.Even Google teamed up with Huawei to make their new Nexus phone. Furthermore what does Leica working with Huawei has anything to do with your current Leica gear? Will a Huawei logo suddenly magically appear on your gear? lol

  6. Thanks for this very interesting post. Some months ago I wrote to Leica urging them to get involved in the camera phone market – people say they never listen !!

  7. Adding a small red dot adds £$£ to any given product.

    They have a proven track record with the smaller cameras and have a very successful tie-in with Lumix, so this move has been on the cards for some time.

    Expect a well designed, neat looking camera, sorry, smart phone which will likely carry a premium price to match its much vaulted optics.

  8. This would be more impressive if the announcement was a devastatingly good and innovative product that reinvented smartphone photography, rather than a partnership is little more than an intent.

    I like Leica for what it has been able to accomplish, especially in the current harsh camera sales environment. Maybe this partnership will reinvent smartphone photography. Maybe not. Panasonic already has a Leica branded lens on its $1000 smartphone and that did not reinvent anything.

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