Leica Acquires App Dev and iPhone Camera Grip Case Maker Fjorden

A logo with a red circle containing the word "Leica" in white cursive text on the left, and the word "FJORDEN" in black capital letters on the right. The two elements are separated by a black "x". The background is white.

Leica announced that it acquired smartphone app startup Fjorden Electra to lead the development of the newly-announced Leica LUX app. While the acquisition is only being announced today, it closed in December 2023.

While Leica has been the new owner of Fjorden since last winter, the two companies have been working together since the start of last year. Leica says that the two companies were engaged in a “technological partnership” throughout 2023, and as time passed, Leica saw that the business models of both companies complemented one another.

“Fjorden Electra AS brings extensive knowledge in the development of iOS camera apps and iPhone accessories, while the Leica Mobile Imaging development team contributes its expertise in the areas of image processing and imaging quality,” Leica says. “In this collaboration, both teams established an important basis for the ongoing advancement of professional camera apps designed for high-quality mobile photography.”

Leica’s acquisition supports its expansion into the smartphone photography space as it pushes its business deeper into the mobile sector. Fjorden joins the same business segment that managed the Xiaomi partnership, which includes the Xiaomi 14 series equipped with Leica optics, as well as the company’s Leitz Phone available exclusively in Japan. It is also part of the Leica LUX photo app, which the company describes as the “third pillar” in technical innovation within the Mobile Business segment.

“With the takeover of Fjorden we have united the expertise of two drivers of technological innovation and have expanded our already strong mobile imaging development team by the integration of proven specialists and digital know-how,” Matthias Harsch, CEO of Leica Camera AG, says.

“We have expanded our digital ecosystem in the Camera, Mobile and Optical segments with a product range that above all addresses younger target groups and enables them to take their first steps on their journey to the world of Leica products. Our first jointly-developed camera app, ‘Leica LUX’ brings the Leica experience and the unmistakable visual signature to the iPhone.”

The acquisition includes all of Fjorden’s business and its personnel who now work at Leica’s headquarters in Wetzlar, Germany, or Leica’s Mobile Competence Center in Cologne, a relocation from Fjorden’s previous location in Oslo, Norway.

“Our vision was to bring more joy and professionalism to mobile phone photography. The iconic Leica cameras were role models in our development processes when it comes to functionality, design and haptics. As long-standing Leica fans, our team is eager to further develop this vision as a part of Leica and simultaneously benefit from the company’s technical and optical excellence,” Dr. Victor Henning, founder and CEO of Fjorden Electra AS, adds.

Leica reveals that Fjorden sold 15,000 units of its Grip for iPhone since launch. While the Fjorden team developed and actively supports the Leica LUX app, it will continue to operate its existing app and sell the Fjorden Pro iPhone grip case that raised $475,426 on Kickstarter last year.