Leica, a maker of cameras and lenses, and Xiaomi has signed have a long-term strategic cooperation in an effort to enhance and boost camera performance on upcoming flagship smartphones.

Leica and Huawei have worked together in the past to improve and fine-tune the Mate and P-series smartphones. However, Xiaomi has pushed to negotiate a collaboration with Leica on upcoming products as Huawei continues to face sanctions and challenges in Western markets. The German photography company has also collaborated with a number of other brands, such as Sharp with the recently released Aquos series available only in Japan.

The announcement teases a new product that is rumored to be the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra’s successor and will be released in July. The alleged device, which is probably the Xiaomi 12 Ultra, was not given any other information. However, a device deserving of succeeding the impressive Mi 11 Ultra would likely feature the recently leaked Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus chipset as one of its key internals.

The first flagship smartphone camera system to benefit from this relationship with Leica, according to Xiaomi, will be formally unveiled in July of this year. It’s also unclear whether this relationship would result in minor Leica software adjustments and color grading, like the recent OnePlus-Hasselblad and Oppo-Hasselblad partnerships.

Leica and Xiaomi both have similar perspectives on mobile imaging. Through extraordinary technology advancements and artistic endeavors, both businesses are keen to explore the optical performance and photographic experience in the mobile imaging era.

The announcement post makes use of a strategic relationship in photography technology, which suggests that this may enable either choice. This would be a way to stand apart from the rising group of Android smartphone OEMs vying to unseat the Chinese company’s current third-place position in worldwide sales.

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