Gallery: how much is the iPhone 4 like a Leica camera?

In his keynote “here’s the iPhone 4!” speech, Steve Jobs compared the phone to a Leica camera – a German camera which became a design icon of the 20th century.

“This is beyond the doubt, the most precise thing, and one of the most beautiful we’ve ever made.” Engadget reported him as saying. “Glass on the front and back, and steel around the sides. It’s like a beautiful old Leica camera.”

Flipping through pictures of the old Leicas, it actually hurts to see just how beautiful some of them are. So just how much like an old Leica camera is the new iPhone? We’ve done a quick gallery of the similarities.

Anna Leach


  • The big difference is that a Leica is beautiful and sturdy, while an iPhone is mostly form over function. Imagine a Leica with a body made out of glass. I’m sure Jonathan Ive loves the symmetry of having a glass back, but it’s brittle and prone to scratches. And putting two antennas on the outside of a mobile phone is just plain silly.

  • I’m sorry, but comparing a Leica lens to an iPhone 4’s and only saying that “back in the day” lenses were smaller is a bit disingenuous. It’s a quality piece of glass and even decades on (and in decades to come) will be far far superior to an iPhone lens (present and future). Lenses of this quality are still being made in this size, this is like comparing an old 4 bed house with a modern bedsit and saying “oh they made dwellings bigger in them days”!

  • Yeah, the iPhone looks quite stylish, but comparing its camera it with arguably the world best lenses and cameras in the world is… A bit optimistic ;)

  • Not to be a TOTAL Leica douche… but…

    1. It’s Visoflex

    2. Photo 5 shows a miniature replica Leica M3 made by Minox.


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