Sep. 18, 2012 at 2:40 PM ET
Jony Ive, best known for his work in creating the iPhone and other Apple products, will be working with Leica on a custom camera to be sold for charity, the camera maker said.
The news was shared Monday night by Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, who owns Leica. Ive was originally supposed to be present but couldn't make it, so the news was handled briefly during the announcements of Leica's new cameras, the new M flagship rangefinder and some other, less expensive cameras.
The idea is for Ive to design the camera and then for Leica to produce exactly one of them, which will then be auctioned off for charity in collaboration with U2's Bono. In all likelihood, the device will fetch an astronomical sum; limited-edition Leicas regularly sell for tens of thousands of dollars, and this will be among the most exclusive and desirable devices ever made to begin with.
What Ive plans to do to the M is a mystery; he hasn't spoken publicly about the arrangement, and the design phase for the camera hasn't even begun. All that is known for sure is that it will be based on the new M camera, which already bears an iconic design — but nothing that can't be improved.
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is coldewey.cc.