Apple's Jony Ive to create one-off Leica M for Bono charity auction

Apple design chief Jonathan Ive will apparently cook up a custom Leica M rangefinder for a charity auction, it's been announced, making the expensive new camera even more pricey in the process. Leica announced the M – set to hit shelves in early 2013 – this week, and company owner Dr. Andreas Kaufmann revealed the one-off collaboration during the press event, Petapixel reports.

Exactly what Ive will be doing with the Leica M hasn't been discussed, though the camera itself is an alluring starting point to work from.  Its retro-styled metal casing hides a 24-megapixel full-frame Leica Max sensor, with ISO 200 to 6,400 support, and Full HD 1080p (24/25) video recording.

Somewhat bizarrely, Ive was meant to be at Leica's presentation to help announce the special edition, but was forced to cancel at the last moment. Leica intended to slice the news from the announcement, but Dr. Kaufmann kept it in his speech anyway.

Designing the camera is apparently yet to begin, but we already know that the auction process will be carried out in collaboration with U2 lead singer Bono. Exactly how much it will reach is hard to predict, but with the "basic" Leica M expected to come in at around $7,000, we'd expect a healthy premium on top for the promise of an Ive-exclusive.