Cinephiles and photography lovers across China will be thrilled to learn of the new dynamic duo that is currently underway. After months of circulating rumors, the Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi has officially confirmed their partnership with legendary camera brand Leica. Together, they plan to release the Xiaomi 12 Ultra in July of this year, featuring a camera that boasts sky-high resolution and an unthinkable dynamic range.
With 170 years of history under its belt, this German-based company has, by all means, earned its position as a reputable manufacturer of high-end cameras. For this reason, it makes sense why Xiaomi would not hesitate to pair up with a brand as renowned for its exquisite design and superb image quality as Leica.
In addition, there is an entire generation of Chinese youth blooming into the age of taking selfies and creating trendy short videos, which has pushed the demand for higher quality cameras. With this in mind, there is no doubt that Leica’s contribution to the partnership will increase the appeal of Xiaomi’s products to its young consumers.
Leica, on the other hand, is no stranger to collaborations with Chinese smartphone brands. As many on Chinese social media curiously pointed out, just one year ago they were partnered up with Xiaomi’s chief competitor, Huawei. Upon reaching the termination of their five-year contract, Leica decided to cut ties with them, thankfully leaving no bridges burned. The recent switch in partners can only be attributed to the recent crackdown on Huawei smartphones in the U.S. and Canada. By joining forces with Xiaomi, Leica is guaranteed a wider net in terms of outreach.
Overall sentiment on Chinese social media platforms such as Weibo points to a mix of enthusiasm and curiosity for the upcoming smartphone release. The hashtag has already accumulated over 84 million views as well as over seven thousand discussion forums. While some netizens remain skeptical of whether or not there will be a revolutionary difference between a Xiaomi and Huawei collaboration, most, especially those in the photography community– are rather thrilled to see the comeback of the camera brand in China.
At the moment, Xiaomi and Leica are bringing their R&D teams together to develop “groundbreaking and innovative solutions for the mobile space”. It is still unclear where this collaboration will take either brand, however, it will be interesting to see how their vision of a “new era of mobile photography” plays out. Perhaps this partnership could level out the playing field in the gadget battle between Xiaomi and its long-term competitors.