A Leica camera prototype designed by Jony Ive is going up for auction

Prototype Leica Camera
Prototype Leica Camera (Image credit: Leitz Photographica Auction)

What you need to know

  • A Leica camera prototype, designed by Jony Ive and Marc Newson, is going up for auction.
  • The auction will take place in June and could see almost $300,000 change hands.

A prototype Leica camera, designed by Jony Ive and Marc Newson, will go up for auction in June later this year. The camera is described as being in B+ condition but is still expected to bring in as much as $300,000 according to auctioneer Leitz Photographica Auction.

The auction, which was first spotted by The Verge, has a starting price of €100.000 which is around $118,000. However, it is expected to sell for considerably more than that.

The camera itself isn't actually mentioned as working – that's probably something you should check before getting your bid in.

The story goes that this was a prototype of the Leica M for (RED) which was a special camera created so it could be sold for charity. This prototype does look similar to the final product, although someone decided to ditch the almost mirror finish in favor of something a little less likely to capture fingerprints.

From the auctioneer:

"A beautifully sculptured aluminium body with a matching Apo-Summicron 2/50 mm ASPH. lens — both showing distinctive features both designers are famous for. Only one finished camera has been made and was sold in an auction in 2013 for an amazing $ 1.8 M! The prototype we have the pleasure to offer shows the final development step when the camera took its final shape after hundreds of prototype parts have been made and tried. It is a beautiful piece of design and a very special opportunity for Leica collectors!"

Jony Ive left Apple last year and is now working on his own firm alongside Newson. It isn't clear how much of an input Ive had in the iPhone 12 design. The same goes for the latest round of some of the best Macs Apple has ever made.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.