Olympus is set to partner with Samsung to provide cameras for upcoming phones, potentially including the Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 and Samsung Galaxy S22, according to the latest reports.
The South Korean giant already produces some of the best camera phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2, so the addition of Olympus' camera expertise and technology could result in smartphone photography unlike anything we've ever seen before.
• Read more: Best Olympus cameras
The news comes courtesy of reliable smartphone industry leakers Yogesh and Ice Universe, who each have a solid track record when it comes to these rumors.
"As per the info I got, both Samsung and Olympus held talks about a possible partnership," tweeted Yogesh. "The current status and extent of this partnership is not exactly clear. They could work on a special edition Fold or we could see this happen on 'H3' (S22 Ultra)."
This was corroborated by Ice Universe on Chinese social media platform Weibo (as reported by Gizmochina. "My source told me that this is reliable news Samsung x Olympus".
The reports come just months after Olympus (under its new ownership, OM Digital Solutions) announced at CP+ 2021 that it would collaborate with other companies.
"I believe we can provide value to the photography activities and culture of our customers in areas other than cameras and lenses," said Setsuya Kataoka, OM Digital's chief technology officer. "Instead of just doing things on our own, we will work with other partners when necessary."
It has been rumored that Samsung is working on a new processor codenamed 'Olympus', which is either a huge signpost as to the veracity of the reports or could be the root of miscommunication (with leakers potentially spotting the chip's name on a spec sheet and mistakenly thinking it's a brand collaboration).
If this does come to fruition, Olympus would join very prestigious company – including Leica and Hasselblad – in providing camera and lens technology to a smartphone manufacturer. And it could also learn some valuable new tricks from Samsung in the realm of computational photography, which it could bring back to the world of mirrorless cameras…