Now that Nokia is out of the smartphone game, many of its key engineers are undoubtedly considering their options. Ari Partinen, a senior camera engineer at Nokia, has confirmed on Twitter that he is leaving Nokia for Apple. The hire was first spotted by Engadget. Apple’s iPhone cameras are regarded as some of the best in the market, but Nokia’s PureView cameras have also been widely praised, which can produce pictures up to 41 megapixels in size.
The significance of the hire is a bit unclear. Partinen’s current title is ‘Lumia Photography Lead’ and has been in that role for roughly a year. His LinkedIn profile says he specialises in image quality and camera module tuning. Partinen is also credited as one of the authors of a paper on PureView’s technology, which captures more megapixels than the target size, in order to improve image quality.
Working in field of mobile imaging. Currently I’m working with image quality characterization and tuning on camera module level. My current position has given me a good understanding of camera component production and quality control on global scale. I have also comprehensive knowledge about Image Quality testing and tuning on ISP level from very successful Nokia 808 PureView and Nokia N8 projects.
Partinen is also credited on this Lumia 1020 document, which details how the PureView technology works in a less-technical fashion. Before his Lumia position, Partinen led camera imaging at Nokia as ‘Senior Design Engineer’ since March 2007. He tweeted that he’ll be “starting a new chapter in Cupertino,” and then confirmed that Tim Cook will become his new boss, this June .
Though Apple’s iPhone 5s camera is already considered good, it could be looking for more, judging by this hire. Partinen says he will start at Apple next month. His new seniority and position at Apple are not yet known, although — given his previous job — it seems likely he will work on future iPhone cameras.