HMD Global - the company developing Nokia-branded handsets, built by Foxconn under license by the Finnish tech giant - said in March that it was "no longer using Carl Zeiss technology" on its devices. That was certainly true then, but it won't be the case in the future.
For many years, ZEISS optics were a feature of Nokia's premium devices, helping the company to earn a strong reputation for excellent cameras on its mobile phones. The Nokia 808 PureView was the greatest example of that collaboration when it launched with a 41-megapixel camera in 2012, but they pushed their achievement even further by compacting that complex imaging architecture into the iconic Lumia 1020 Windows Phone in 2013.
Other much-loved devices to have featured ZEISS optics include the Nokia N8 and N95.
Microsoft acquired Nokia's devices and services business in 2014, including the rights to the PureView brand, and when Nokia's name returned to mobile handsets last year, under its arrangement with HMD, the ZEISS partnership was no longer in place. But today, HMD and ZEISS announced the signing of "an exclusive partnership that aims to set new imaging standards within the smartphone industry".
Today's announcement was light on details, painting a picture of the collaboration in somewhat broad strokes, for now. HMD said that the two companies planned to "advance the quality of the total imaging experience on smartphones spanning entire ecosystem from software, services, through to screen quality, and optic design". It added that it's committed "to deliver the ultimate imaging experience possible on a smartphone."
But when will we see these new Nokia Android phones with ZEISS optics? From this teaser video, posted this morning, it looks like the first device is "coming this year":
Source: HMD Global