Last year, Leica teamed with Chinese company Huawei to co-engineer the dual-lens camera found on the back of the Huawei P9 smartphone. That may be just the start of Leica's phone dabbling, though, based on comments made by company Chairman Andreas Kaufmann in a recent interview with CNBC's 'Managing Asia.
Kaufmann touched on the topic of Leica's Huawei partnership and future plans under it, but also revealed his personal 'dream': the creation of a full Leica smartphone.
Kaufmann talked about some of the problems with smartphones and how they relate to modern photography, saying, "Every smartphone is wrong for photography at the moment. . . the phone nowadays is not fit really for photography. . . it's used as a camera, it's used as a video camera, but it's not built that way and I think there's a long way to go still. "
While Kaufmann didn't detail any specific issues he sees with modern phones as photography gear, he did say that he'd like to see Leica step up with its own smartphone to solve the problems. "I am not sure whether the company can do [this]. . . [but] one dream would be my personal dream: a true Leica phone," he said, leading to many a raised eyebrow among Leica lovers.
Whereas the P9 is a Huawei phone with Leica camera tech, a 'true Leica phone' would presumably be fully Leica-branded and designed specifically for the company's customer base.
Though he didn't have more to say about that dream, Kaufmann did tease CNBC with hints of Leica's future plans with Huawei, saying, "It get a bit confidential, but you could think of this: are two camera systems enough for a smartphone? And that could give you a hint into the future. " Looks like the 16-camera Light L16 camera might have some competition from Leica and Huawei in the future.
To check out Kaufmann's full interview, click here.. dpreview.com