Nokia and Carl Zeiss extend partnership

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In an announcement that will surprise absolutely noone, Nokia and Carl Zeiss have announced that the exclusive partnership between the two companies, which has resulted in some of the industry's best camera smartphones, including the Nokia N8 and the 808 PureView, "has been extended". Given that most observers expect the 808 to be the last (and only) Symbian-powered PureView device, this press release is effectively confirmation that PureView technology is coming to Nokia's Windows Phone line up "in the coming months (and years)".

From the press release:

"Carl Zeiss was a crucial partner in the creation of the first PureView experience," said Jo Harlow, executive vice president of Nokia Smart Devices. "The benefits of our ongoing collaboration will be more PureView innovation and further advancements in smartphone imaging in the coming months and years."

Michael Kaschke, CEO, Carl Zeiss AG: "When joining forces with Nokia in 2005, we wanted to push the boundaries of mobile photography. Looking back at seven years of successful partnership, we are proud of the innovations and outstanding products created in this shared journey. Today we are celebrating the extension of our collaboration with a new technology that sets another real benchmark in this sector."

The reference to "months" is interesting. Nokia World 2012 is on Sept 25/26th in Helsinki, just under five months away, and it's now highly probable that a Carl Zeiss-lensed, Windows Phone-powered PureView smartphone will be launched there.

PureView was launched on Symbian because of the technical requirements of the technology and because of the history with the platform, but presumably PureView compatibility is being baked into the next generation of Nokia hardware running Windows Phone. The biggest issue is likely to be one of styling, in that the 808 PureView's camera hump might be out of place on a '2012 thin' Windows Phone device - I think we might see a 20 megapixel sensor with a vastly slimmer hump - most of the PureView benefits would still apply, albeit with no quite so much lossless zoom.

Time will tell. We don't comment on rumours, but that doesn't stop me guessing (and hoping) once in a while!

In the meantime, we've got the 808 PureView to put through its paces very soon, of course. Exciting times for camera phone fans!