Phone makers do partnerships with popular camera brands all the time. OnePlus, for instance, has been working with Hasselblad for some time now. And before things went under for them, at least in the Western markets, Huawei was known to collaborate with Leica for its P series of phones.
Leica is doing the same thing this time around, but with Xiaomi. Xiaomi, to note, has really leveraged Huawei’s partial absence in markets around the world to grow its business. It, for instance, owns 6 percent of the market share in the smartphone space in Africa as of Q1 2022, just behind Samsung at 34 percent, and Transsion at 45 percent.
A phone jointly developed by Xiaomi and Leica is set to be announced sometime in July 2022. It is also a safe bet to predict that the device will be the Xiaomi 12 Ultra, which should complement the 12 and the 12 Pro that has since been released for sale.
We do not know how the partnership will work this time around. With Huawei, Leica basically availed some of its filters for the camera app. It also had its brand slapped on Huawei phones that shipped with those filters.
It would make more sense if the partnership went deeper than that, meaning, giving the camera company the opportunity to take part in the camera hardware development for Xiaomi phones. However, this will only be known when the July launch goes live.
“Xiaomi focuses on creating the ultimate user experience and has always hoped to explore the capabilities of smartphone photography to the extreme. Xiaomi and Leica agree with each other’s pursuits and ideas and appreciate each other’s advantages and industry. This cooperation will provide a strong boost to Xiaomi’s imaging strategy. During the cooperation, from optical design to tuning aesthetic orientations, the innovative technologies, product philosophies and imaging preferences of both parties have experienced unprecedented in- depth collision and fusion,” says Lei Jun, founder, chairman and CEO of Xiaomi Group.
“It is an honour to announce the long-term strategic cooperation with Xiaomi today. Leica and Xiaomi are both global premium brands and during this unprecedented deep cooperation process, both parties have successively worked on the goal of providing customers a new era of mobile photography. We are convinced that the first jointly developed imaging flagship smartphone makes the pioneering progress of both companies visible. We will provide consumers in the field of mobile photography exceptional image quality, classic Leica aesthetics, unrestricted creativity, and will open a new era of mobile imaging,” adds Matthias Harsch, CEO of Leica Camera AG.