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The news that Apple has snapped up camera whizz Ari Partinen from Nokia marks a huge step forward for Cupertino’s imaging plans.

While the iPhone’s cameras has moved on leaps and bounds since its early days, bringing in one of the team behind Nokia’s much–loved PureView camera suggests Apple is finally ready to become top dog when it comes to taking pictures on your phone.

Partinen may only have been one part of the team at Espoo who made the cameras on Lumia phones so special.

But the expertise he will bring should definitely help Apple develop its imaging features behind standard shooting and filter options.

Whether he will aim to simply make Apple versions of Nokia features remains to be seen, but it would hardly be a shock to see the ability to refocus images after they’ve been taken and perhaps even a LiveSight–style virtual reality overlay on future versions of iOS.

ari partinen

What is clear is that his arrival in California is unlikely to have a bearing on hardware being released this year.

The iPhone 6 is ready to head into production, with a release date mooted for either August or September.

That means that Apple may still be lagging behind Microsoft’s first Lumia phones (at least in the camera department) for another year.

But come 2015, the changes are likely to be in evidence.

The question is, is this the start of a wider exodus of former Nokia staff?

Partinen’s move comes just weeks after the Finnish firm’s devices and services business was finally taken over by Microsoft.

nokia lumia 1020 joe review 3

Apple may be looking to capitalise on staff ready to start working for a company that already has a major smartphone foothold, rather than heading to Microsoft and having to battle back to the top.

After years of battling against declining sales, it’s likely that talented engineers at Nokia are looking to use their skills somewhere where their products are likely to gain a wider audience.

The iPhone’s huge popularity as a point and shoot camera has never been in doubt.

But Partinen’s arrival in Cupertino could well herald a time when after years of playing catch up, the iPhone could be the critically lauded snapper staff at the company have always wanted it to be.

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