HMD, the exclusive licensee to manufacture Nokia phones and smartphones has announced launch of smartphones under its own brand. In a post on LinkedIn, HMD Global CEO Jean-Francois Baril hinted at new portfolio of Nokia smartphones and HMD-branded smartphones. He even hinted at launch of smartphones bearing other brands with whom HMD may partner in future.

I am thrilled to announce a significant milestone in HMD’s evolution – we are establishing an original HMD brand. You can expect to see a new portfolio of HMD branded mobile devices, as well as Nokia devices and collaboration with exciting new partners.

HMD Global was founded in 2016 by ex-Nokia executives with a strategy to bring Nokia-branded phones and other devices to market. They acquired a 10-year license from Nokia to use the brand on phones, tablets and accessories.

Since, this agreement will be concluded in 2026, HMD Global may still be launching new Nokia smartphones until 2026. But, this announcement does raise a question mark on future of Nokia-branded devices with HMD.

There may be two possible scenarios. Either HMD is looking towards a multi-branded strategy where it will bring phones of multiple brands to market, or, Nokia and HMD have decided to not renew their licensing agreement.

In the LinkedIn post, CEO Baril has lauded their journey with Nokia Phones. Claiming to be the fastest growing 5G smartphone manufacturer of the year, he has reiterated HMD’s foray into market as an independent consumer player.

It has been a great journey as ‘HMD – the home of Nokia phones’ – an exclusive position we have held for the past six years. Now, we’re the fastest growing 5G smartphone manufacturer year on year, a leader in sustainability with our repairable devices, and the top choice for taking a digital detox. Now we are ready for the next step on our journey – to enter the market independently as a force to create a new world for telecommunications focused on consumer needs.

Baril has also highlighted the Supply chain and other challenges HMD needed to face in 2022. These challenges, he says, HMD faced by reacting quickly and restructuring their business.

 I want to say a big heartfelt thanks to all of our employees, consumers, partners and investors for all of their support to date and continued support to come. Like many businesses, we faced unprecedented pressure in 2022 with the ongoing effects of the pandemic impacting global supply chains and high inflation and economic instability affecting consumers’ purchasing power. We reacted quickly, restructured our business and are seeing positive momentum in 2023 – our repairability, sustainability and detox products are landing incredibly well amongst consumer and business audiences alike.

HMD claims to be one of Europe’s largest mobile phone companies with secure in-house software and R&D capabilities. It has also announced plans to bring manufacturing to Europe.

At HMD, we are proud to have extensive worldwide distribution and operational networks, secure in-house software and R&D capabilities, a comprehensive enterprise solutions portfolio, a scalable e-commerce platform and a team of seasoned industry professionals. HMD is one of the largest mobile phone companies in Europe with our customer and corporate data stored here since 2019 and we are launched our journey to manufacturing to Europe this year.