The cameras of future Nokia phones will not have Zeiss optics

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

TL; DR

  • HMD Global has confirmed that future Nokia-branded smartphones will no longer have the camera hardware provided by Zeiss.
  • The partnership effectively ended in 2021, but was officially announced today in a statement.
  • Zeiss is currently partnering with Vivo for smartphone cameras.

One of the largest smartphone camera partnerships is coming to an end. In a statement sent to NokiaMobHMD Global has confirmed that it has ended its long-standing partnership with camera company Zeiss to provide optical hardware for its Nokia-branded phones.

The statement said that the partnership between the two companies actually ended in 2021. This means that the Nokia XR20 was the last from HMD Global with Zeiss lens hardware inside. HMD Global has not provided any reasons for the termination of its collaboration with Zeiss. If we had to guess, Nokia might be looking to cut costs by removing the Zeiss license from the picture – although that’s clearly speculation at this point.

Back when Nokia already made smartphones, it teamed up with Zeiss to improve its optics for smartphones. Nokia later sold its smartphone business to Microsoft and then licensed its brand to HMD Global to make Nokia branded phones. In turn, HMD Global partnered with Zeiss in 2017 to improve smartphone cameras. At the time, it was assumed that the agreement would include not only optics, but also that Zeiss would collaborate on new sensors and new imaging algorithms with HMD Global. This resulted in some great camera hardware inside branded phones like Nokia 9 PureView and Nokia 8.3.

In late 2020, Zeiss announced another partnership, this time with Vivo, to bring its optics inside Vivo smartphones. At the time, Zeiss said, “The partnership with Nokia is ongoing and non-exclusive.” However, that partnership lasted for another year or so. We’ll have to see what HMD Global brings to future Nokia phones in terms of its cameras.

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