The newly established partnership between Sharp and Leica that was revealed earlier, along with the unveiling of the Aquos R6 smartphone may come as a surprise for many. This is the first time for the German camera maker to collaborate with another smartphone brand after exclusively partnering with Huawei since 2016. However, Leica’s contract with the Chinese tech giant may finally come to an end later this year, according to a recent rumour.
This information comes from Finnish leakster Teme (aka @RODENT50) via Twitter, who said that the partnership will end after the release of Huawei’s P50 flagships which are said to be officially unveiled in July. The most possible reason that comes to mind to why Leica may be considering ending this deal is the ongoing US sanctions imposed on the Chinese company. This has drastically impacted Huawei, causing it to cut down on smartphone production due to the shortage of supplies, especially semiconductors. This is quite apparent as aside from the upcoming P50 series, the company has not unveiled or released any other smartphone model in 2021.
Although this may seem like an impending end of a six-year partnership between the two companies, there’s a chance that Teme’s information is inaccurate. Interestingly, the leakster followed-up on this tweet a few days after, stating that the Leica-Huawei collaboration could still continue even after the release of the P50 series. He also noted that the camera maker’s new partnership with Sharp will not affect its relationship with the Chinese giant as multi-branded deals are quite common in the smartphone industry. For instance, optical systems manufacturer Zeiss to this date has partnered with three smartphone makers, namely Sony, Vivo and Nokia.
Regardless, we highly advise our readers to take this information with a pinch of salt. And this isn’t the first time that the Leica-Huawei partnership is rumoured to be expired either. Chinese tech insider Digital Chat Station also suggested the same insight on Weibo in late 2020, which was shot down by both companies in their own respective statements. This then resulted in the leakster to delete his post on the Chinese social media platform soon after.