Almost all major smartphone brands (excluding Apple and Samsung) are cooperating with world-class imaging brands. For instance, Xiaomi is working with Leica, which is the ex-partner of Huawei; OnePlus has joined hands with Hasselblad; Nokia has been in a deep partnership with Carl Zeiss. Moreover, if talking about the latter, their cooperation was the first in the field. Their love story starts in 2004. Once the Chinese HMD acquired Nokia, there were some legal issues disallowing the company to use technologies patented by Zeiss. After many twists and turns, it was finally authorized by HMD for ten years of brand use.
Recently, HMD issued a public statement that the contract between HMD and Zeiss has expired. From the statement, we also learn that the upcoming Nokia phones won’t have the logo and small blue label certified by Zeiss.
“After long and successful collaboration, in 2021 Zeiss and HMD Global have mutually agreed not to prolong their non-exclusive partnership which included collaboration for imaging technologies of ‘Nokia’ branded smartphones with Zeiss as consulting and development partner.”
In fact, it turns out that the contract between HMD and Zeiss ended in 2021. And the statement that has caused a lot of stir on the net is just the official confirmation of that. Even when visiting Zeiss’ official website, we can see that the company’s partner brands are Sony and Vivo.
Nokia’s first mobile phone, the Nokia N90, which was co-branded with Zeiss, was launched in early 2005. After that, the 808, N8, N82, N85, N95, and other models were released in the coming years. Due to this cooperation, Nokia phones always stood out. Last year’s Nokia XR20 became the last Nokia phone with Zeiss technologies.
There is no news on whether the two companies will cooperate again. But we think their cooperation ended because HMD wants to reduce the cost of Nokia mobile phones. So their further partnership is less possible.