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(Pocket-lint) - Huawei and iconic camera maker Leica have announced they are joining forces to "reinvent" smartphone photography.

In a move that apes the long lasting partnership that saw Nokia and Carl Zeiss join forces to improve the camera quality on the back of Nokia phones, the two companies say they will be working together to "achieve the best possible imaging results in the field of smartphone photography - and to take it to the next level of quality."

The strategic partnership means that future Huawei phones, like the upcoming flagship Huawei P9, are likely to feature Leica lenses and imaging technologies to enhance and improve the smartphone's photographic credentials.

The two companies say that the partnership will span research and development, design, co-engineering, user experience, marketing, and retail distribution. It will be "long-lasting".

Although neither party confirms or denies Leica's involvement in the Huawei P9 as yet, a joint statement sent to Pocket-lint says:

"In 2016, Huawei looks to build on its success with Leica Camera: a mutually beneficial collaboration with the most iconic name in the photographic world to bring joint superior excellence to consumers."

That suggests we should see fruits of the partnership sooner rather than later.

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Oliver Kaltner, CEO of Leica adds slightly more details over Leica's involvement:

"The technology partnership with Huawei offers Leica Camera an excellent opportunity to introduce its proven optical expertise into a new product segment and to unlock exciting business areas in the field of mobile devices. Smartphones make a very important contribution to the world of photography and open an important door for Leica to new target groups and fields of application."

There's at least one thing you can be certain of, your chance to own a "Leica" just became a lot more affordable.

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 25 February 2016.