Nokia's old love affair with Zeiss is about to be rekindled, as HMD Global announced an exclusive new partnership to equip future Nokia smartphones with Zeiss optics.
Finnish company HMD Global licensed the rights to make and release Nokia-branded smartphones for a decade. A few new Nokia handsets have already hit the market, with more to come.
Nokia was once among the top brands on the mobile market, but it failed behind rivals in the smartphone race. The company made smartphones running Microsoft's Windows Phone mobile operating system, which failed to keep up with Android and iOS handsets.
After years of sluggish market performance with Windows Phone-based Nokia smartphones, Nokia changed hands and its new parent company, HMD Global, decided to breathe new life into the iconic brand and launch Android-based Nokia handsets.
Nokia Zeiss Partnership
Nokia made smartphones with Carl Zeiss optics for years and future Nokia smartphones will now boast the superior camera optics as well. In a joint statement, HMD Global and Zeiss tout that their new exclusive partnership "aims to set new imaging standards within the smartphone industry."
"Our fans want more than a great smartphone camera, they want a complete imaging experience that doesn't just set the standard but redefines it," says Arto Nummela, HMD Global CEO. "Our fans expect it and, together with ZEISS, we're delivering it - co-developed imaging excellence for all."
HMD has yet to announce any timeframe for new Nokia smartphones with Zeiss optics, but the company is expected to release at least one flagship smartphone this year. So far, HMD launched three Nokia-branded Android handsets, but none of them have Zeiss lenses or flagship specs. All three Nokia smartphones announced so far have mediocre midrange specs, but HMD pledged to up the ante with a premium smartphone later on.
Nokia Flagship 2017
Recent rumors have indicated that a top-notch Nokia 9 flagship is in the cards for this year and it's expected to rock a dual rear camera setup. Trusted tipster Evan Blass (Evleaks) leaked a video back in May that showed four Nokia handsets, although HMD only released three Nokia devices so far and none of them have dual cameras. It's believed that the fourth handset featured in the leaked video is the upcoming Nokia 9, which could have dual rear cameras with Zeiss optics.
The new Zeiss partnership is just the latest in a number of deals HMD scored in a bid to restore the Nokia brand to its former glory, at the top of the mobile phone market. It remains to be seen whether the upcoming Nokia flagship will manage to keep up with rivals and challenge the dominant players on the smartphone market, but things are looking up.