In 2013, Apple's head of design Jony Ive and industrial designer Marc Newson created a one-off interpretation of the current Leica M.
Both body and lens of this one-off model were made from a custom engineered alloy, while the leather trim traditionally associated with Leica cameras was replaced by a smoothly-textured outer shell of laser-machined aluminium. The final product was the result of hard graft: a total of 561 prototype models and nearly 1,000 prototype parts were created in the space of 85 days.
The camera's interior was the same as that of the standard Leica M, featuring a full-frame CMOS sensor and high performance processor. The lens however was also a one-off – the newly designed APO Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 Asph.
On 23 November 2013, the camera sold for 1,805,000 US dollars (around 1.3 million euros) during the Jony & Marc & Bono (RED) Auction at Sotheby’s in New York.
Jony Ive and Marc Newson created the Leica M (Product)Red specifically for this auction. It is the only model in existence.
The Jony & Marc & Bono (RED) Auction raised a total of 12,883,000 US dollars. All proceeds were donated to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.