©2011 BLACK DESIGN ASSOCIATES, LLC, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. BLACK DESIGN ASSOCIATES, LLC is an independent consultancy with no affiliations and/or pre-existing relationships with either Leica Camera AG or Apple, Inc. Leica and the Leica logo are registered trademarks of Leica Camera AG, Apple and the iPhone are registered trademarks of Apple, Inc.


i9 for iPhone4

The i9 Concept is a dream project that addresses a desire to combine two great products, while considering both the consumer's and company's needs. It's common practice to combine a smart phone with a digital camera, but how do you combine a great smart phone with a great digital camera when your brands may speak to very different categories?


Complement without Compromise

Design a product that inspires a relationship between two highly respected brands. Address a shared audience while being true to both core brand attributes and values. No compromise!


  • high tech,
  • consumer cost ($199 -$299),
  • shorter life-cycle (2-4 yrs.)
  • i9 for iPhone4

  • high performance,
  • higher cost ($900 -$1200),
  • longer life-cycle (5-10 yrs.)
  • LEICA M9

  • highest performance,
  • prosumer cost ($7000+),
  • longest life-cycle (20+ yrs.)

    If the best camera is the one that you have on you, then the better camera is the i9 Concept.

    This mantra rings true for both purists and enthusiasts. There are, however, minimum expectations and restrictions on price. The key is to identify the range that appeals to both.

    • INDEPENDENT CAMERA BODY - doesn't depend on the iPhone4 processor, making the i9 a true ready-to-shoot camera.

    • COMPACT OPTICAL ZOOM - offers true optical zoom with a greater number of focal lengths in a compact size.

    • VIEWFINDER - allows for faster uninterrupted shooting.

    • CASE FORM FACTOR - makes the i9 ultra-compact and protects your iPhone4 in a rugged and stylish case.

    • CAMERA BACK DOCK - loads your iPhone4 reminiscent to traditional 35mm film and takes full advantage of the iPhone4's superior Retina Touch-Screen Display.

    • INTERCHANGEABLE CAMERA BACK - ensures the i9 is compatible with future generation iPhones.


    Create a feature set that complements high performance camera systems and takes full advantage of the iPhone4's power and rich features.


    Careful considerations were taken to get every detail right. The i9's cohesive design complements form with function, preserving and celebrating the way a high performance camera and iPhone4 should perform and operate.

    1. CAMERA/iPHONE TOGGLE - turns on your camera with an instant start-up time of 0.3sec., while simultaneously loading an app on your iPhone4.

    2. ZOOM/VOLUME CONTROL - adjusts Tight and Wide when your camera is on, and adjusts volume Up and Down when your camera is off.

    3. DEDICATED APERTURE AND SHUTTER DIALS - offers fast and easy option for manual operation.

    4. PASS-THROUGHS AND ACTUATORS - gives you full access to your iPhone4 controls and headphone jack.

    5. FLASH AND LIGHT METER - offers higher quality photos and videos in low-light conditions.


    From F-Stop to Facetime, use-patterns were reviewed continuously, making sure the i9 functioned flawlessly as a high performance camera and smart phone.


    The Camera Back Dock is a tribute to traditional 35mm film. The Camera Back swings open like a traditional film door to reveal the standard Apple 30-pin connector dock. The Camera back is also interchangeable to accomodate compatibility with future generation iPhones.


    Romantic hand-crafted precision meets cutting edge mobility. Instantly take brilliant photos and share them with your editor or your friends, anytime and anywhere.

    To request an official press release and/or high-resolution images for publication, please contact us by email at press@blackda.com


    The i9 Concept offers timeless design, durability and the unmatched brilliance of a high performance camera system to compliment the unparalleled processing, display and sharing capabilities of Apple's iPhone4. With upgradeable software, partner plug-ins/apps, and the ability to take advantage of an ever-growing list of new iPhone features, the possibilities are limitless...