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Apple snaps up Nokia camera wizard

PureView co-architect Ari Partinen heads to Cupertino

Apple snaps up Nokia camera wizard
Partinen was a major influence in the development of PureView, Nokia’s proprietary tech that resides in smartphone cameras such as that of the Lumia 1020.

Apple Inc has coaxed Nokia's imaging chief, Ari Partinen, from his new Microsoft paymasters, in a move that is expected to improve the camera offerings in Apple's next generation of smartphones and tablets, The Register reported over the weekend.

Microsoft last month completed its purchase of mobile OEM partner Nokia's devices business. Nokia's ex-CEO Stephen Elop has returned to his old employer Microsoft as manager of the division, which will also include Microsoft's Surface tablets and the Xbox gaming consoles.

Partinen was a major influence in the development of PureView, Nokia's proprietary tech that resides in cameras in its Lumia smartphone range. He confirmed in a Friday tweet that he would not be remaining with Elop's team.

"Today will be my last day working for the amazing #Lumia family," he tweeted. "In June I will start a new chapter in Cupertino, California."

Even while the Lumias' Windows Phone OS was given a cold reception by the market and pundits, the range's cameras out-performed most other models and continually led the industry in sensor power. The Lumia 1020 in particular was, on average, highly praised in reviews for its 41MP imaging module.  

Partinen's penchant for tweaking image quality may push Apple into a leading position in the smartphone imaging category. The Cupertino-based iPhone maker will most likely not make use of Partinen's input on the forthcoming iPhone 6, but may set him to work on the next-generation iPad.

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