Leica Camera From Former Apple Designers Jony Ive and Mark Newson Heading to Auction
The camera prototype features many of the subtle industrial design cues Ive and Newson are known for, particularly on their Apple products. The exterior is also made of Ive's preferred lightweight material, aluminum. While the camera is not directly affiliated with Apple, it is clear to see the selective curves, polished finishes, and minimalism that have become synonymous with Apple's product designs.
The prototype Leica camera was produced during the development of a one-off Product (RED) Leica M that was sold at a charity auction in 2013 for $1.8 million. A total of 561 models and nearly 1,000 prototype parts were made during the camera's design process.
A year after the auction, Newson joined Ive at Apple and became responsible for the design of the Apple Watch, having previously worked for wristwatch manufacturer Ikepod.
Both Ive and Newson departed Apple in 2019 to found the design company LoveFrom. Apple has said in the past that it was LoveFrom's first client and that Ive and Newson are still "very involved."
The camera is said to be from the "final development step" of the design process and comes with a matching Apo-Summicron 2/50 mm ASPH lens. The device, described as being in "B+" condition, has a starting price of around $118,000. It is estimated to reach between $235,000 and $295,000 in bidding.
Apple has not produced a dedicated camera since it released the 0.3 Mpx Apple QuickTake in 1994, but the prototype Leica may give the best glimpse yet of what a modern Apple camera could look like today.