To the average consumer, the recent CP+ camera and photo imaging show held in Japan may not be as popular the Mobile World Congress held in the city of Barcelona in Spain, well except maybe for photography enthusiasts, but it served as the venue for Huawei in announcing its collaboration with Leica, the Germany based firm that specializes in producing some of the best (and priciest) cameras and lenses in the planet. According to the official press release from the Chinese phone maker, the nature of the partnership will involve research and development, design, collaborative engineering, user experience development, marketing and promotions, and even retail distribution.
For those not familiar with Leica, the company has only made lens components for one smartphone device (the photography focused CM1 from Panasonic) in the past. The camera and lens maker has also lent its own branding to Panasonic, particularly in the latter’s mirrorless cameras, which resulted to the ballooning of its prices.
As explained by Oliver Kaltner, the chief executive officer of Leica, the company is looking to do its part in lending its considerable expertise and experience in the field of optical engineering, with the overall objective joining forces with Huawei in achieving the best quality of smartphone photography possible.
However, it has not been made clear yet if Leica will supply the lens components for Huawei, or just help them in designing and developing cameras for the mobile manufacturer’s smartphone devices. If future smartphones released by Huawei start featuring the familiar red dot logo of Leica, for sure it would boost the overall brand of the Chinese phone maker’s devices, especially to consumers who either know who Leica is or to those who take their smartphone photography more seriously than the average mobile user.
Moreover, the partnership does make a lot of sense. Even though Leica is a German company, it has achieved considerable success in Asian markets. And remember that Huawei is now considered the third biggest smartphone vendor in the world (behind Samsung and Apple). Leica could get its supporters to start buying Huawei smartphones, and the Chinese phone maker could encourage its mobile users to gain more appreciation for the German firm’s work on cameras and lenses.
For Huawei, the Leica collaboration is a sign that the Chinese phone maker is starting to get serious (or more serious) about establishing a truly global presence. In terms of the quality of smartphone cameras, iPhones and Galaxy devices are now the benchmark and Huawei has to start catching up to their level in order to be considered a true force to be reckoned with in the world stage.
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