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Apple's Jony Ive to design limited-edition Leica camera for charity

Apple's lead designer Jonathan Ive will reportedly design a one-of-a-kind limited edition Leica M camera to be auctioned off for charity.

Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, president of German camera maker Leica, said at a special event this week that a limited version of the new Leica M designed by Ive will be put up for auction, according to PetaPixel. Only a single unit of the camera will ever be produced, he said.

Further details on the camera, including the auction date or which charity will receive the money, were not given. But given the interest in Leica cameras and Apple products, it's likely to fetch a large sum at auction.

Kaufmann's announcement came at the Photokina event in Germany, where Leica announced its new M and M-E cameras. The new $6,950 Leica M features Live View with a rear LCD display, as well as 1080p video recording and the use of a CMOS sensor. The Leica M-E is the company's more affordable rangefinder priced at $5,450.

Ive's acclaimed work at Apple has brought him a number of honors over the years, most notably when he was awarded knighthood in his home country of the U.K. He's also been named smartest designer in tech by Forbes Magazine, Designer of the Year by the Design Museum London and Royal Designer for Industry by The Royal Society of Arts.

Ive was so close to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs that the late CEO left Ive with "more operational power" than anyone else at the company, Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson.

"There's no one who can tell him what to do," Jobs said. "That's the way I set it up."