Just as the rumors predicted, Xiaomi is, in fact, joining hands with German camera company Leica. The Chinese phone maker has just announced the strategic partnership through a teaser poster.
The first jointly developed flagship phone with Leica-powered cameras will be launched in July this year. Since the rumor mill correctly predicted Xiaomi’s partnership with Leica, we can also expect the device in question to be the Xiaomi 12 Ultra, but we will have to wait for official confirmation.
This partnership is far from Leica’s first joint venture with a smartphone company. The German company’s most popular team-up was with Huawei, but since it was dethroned by the US ban, it makes sense that Leica wants to try other things.
Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun said:
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 our cooperation involves optical design as well as tuning aesthetic orientations.
Only time will tell how deeply the partnership will affect Xiaomi phones. Some companies simply use the partner’s brand name and a few camera filters on their phones, while others use co-developed hardware and software. Huawei used to do the latter with Leica and it remains to be seen how Xiaomi approaches the partnership.
We will have to wait until Xiaomi 12 Ultra’s release for answers.