We've seen established members of the optical industry partner with smartphone makers before. Nokia high-end phones used to come with Carl Zeiss branded lenses and Schneider Kreuznach optics have been used in various models from Chinese manufacturer Oppo. Now it seems we could soon see Leica-branded lenses and other imaging technology in Huawei smartphones as the two manufacturers have today announced a 'Long-term Technology Partnership for the Reinvention of Smartphone Photography'.

Richard Yu, CEO of the Huawei Consumer BG said: 'We choose our partners carefully, and with this extraordinary collaboration we are offering our wide customer base and consumers the best elements of two expert brands in harmony: combining innovation and design, enhancing the user experience and continuing to inspire amazing advancement in human technology through exceptional premium imaging quality. Leica is a legend in the world of photography; we believe no other manufacturer has revolutionised the industry as much as them. We, Huawei, take the utmost pride in exceptional quality and Leica is in a class of its own in its sector.'

Huawei has been the third largest smartphone manufacturer in the world and in 2015 was the first Chinese company to sell more than 100 million mobile phones in one year. Leica is arguably the most prestigious name in the camera industry and a company that has been making cameras and lenses of the highest quality for more than 100 years. Some of the most iconic images in the history of photography have been captured with Leica equipment. 

Oliver Kaltner, CEO of Leica Camera AG said: "The strategic alliance between Huawei and Leica Camera demonstrates the desire of two rapidly growing and globally active brands to continuously push the envelope of the technologically possible. In addition to innovative strength and premium standards, our two companies are united by the commitment to uncompromising quality. The technology partnership with Huawei offers Leica Camera an excellent opportunity to introduce its proven optical expertise into a new product segment and to unlock exciting business areas in the field of mobile devices. Smartphones make a very important contribution to the world of photography and open an important door for Leica to new target groups and fields of application."

The partnership will include the areas of research and development, design, co-engineering, user experience, marketing and retail distribution but no details on specific products or projects have been shared yet. We are intrigued to see what this strategic cooperation of two big players in their respective sectors will bring, but one should not be too surprised if we'll see a Huawei smartphone with Leica-branded optics at some point in the near future.