Huawei‘s partnership with Leica has been one of the cornerstones of its success in recent years—prior to the whole Google/Android/U.S. Commerce Department fiasco, that is. Cameras have always been one of the strengths of the Chinese firm’s smartphones, with the Mate and P-series devices really pushing things with periscope lenses, and other photography-related innovations.
However, a leakster claims that this partnership is coming to an end, with the upcoming Huawei P50 series set to be the last ever Huawei x Leica smartphone. Images of the P50, of course, have already been leaked ahead of a launch this year, showing off some gigantic camera modules. Based on the Mi 11 Ultra, perhaps giant camera bumps are a new trending look these days, but I’m not too sure on my end.
@RODENT950 (what a name), who has a track record with Huawei device predictions, revealed the information in a Tweet, while also confirming that Leica is now looking for a new smartphone manufacturer to partner up with. There isn’t any mention of whether Huawei intends to partner up with a camera company just yet, but given the fact that major rivals in the Android space such as OnePlus have made similar moves (read: Hasselblad), perhaps this is in the works, too.
What’s interesting is that the leakster mentions Honor, Xiaomi, and Sharp as potential new partners for Leica. Now, we know that Honor is technically an independent company now, but this seems… rather unlikely, given the fact that Honor traditionally positions its phones as budget-friendly options for younger users.
Xiaomi, on the other hand, might be an interesting option. The release of the Mi 11 series—particularly the Mi 11 and Mi 11 Ultra—are more focused on the premium, flagship segment of the smartphone market than ever. A potential partnership with Leica, given their proven history here, might be what the Chinese company needs to elevate its positioning in the Android flagship segment.
Regardless, it’s a sad day for Huawei fans, I’m sure. The partnership has seen some game-changers over the years, and Huawei’s slide down global smartphone rankings due to the GMS issue doesn’t look like it’s going to stop anytime soon.