Updated: Creating the Leica T

To understand the present, you must first understand the past. Why are Japanese cameras cheaper?

After the WWII, Germany was stripped of all its intellectual property, its industrial and technology patents made void. It was devastating to German companies who have totally lost momentum, and it created a huge bonanza for manufacturers elsewhere (particularly in the US and Japan).

Many of (then) smaller Japanese companies had actually been repair shops before the war, and were familiar with the construction of the cameras, and most had experience fabricating hard to get parts.

The economic boom following shortly after made Japanese into de-facto holders of 95% of world’s photography related patents. Which Leica must pay for through the nose, of course, being such a small manufacturer from Germany. When buying any component, because of its small purchasing power, Leica pays many times *more* for same parts than some Japanese camera company.

Source Article from http://www.dpreview.com/news/2014/04/24/solid-metal-creating-the-leica-t