Home News HMD’s Next Chapter : Innovative Ideas, Unique Collaboration!

HMD’s Next Chapter : Innovative Ideas, Unique Collaboration!


Official Press Release

For HMD, it’s all about human innovation…and lots of it.

  1. HMD puts people first, using technology to make life easier and solve real-world challenges with tech innovation.
  2. Thanks to a major transformation, HMD announces a significant improvement in operational profitability in 2023.
  3. Evolving into a multi-brand strategy approach means launching new HMD original devices, selling Nokia phones, and collaborating with inspirational partners.
  4. An iconic Nokia device is on the way!
  5. Goodbye broken screens? This summer, HMD takes easy repairability to the next level.
  6. HMD embraces open innovation, making sure people and businesses can augment their phone to fit their needs.
  7. Hi, Barbie!

February 25th, Barcelona: HMD has today revealed what life will look like as Human Mobile Devices. As part of its evolution, HMD is about making phones that are affordable, beautiful, desirable, and repairable. Or, to keep it simple, they help you get what you need without breaking the bank. That means creating devices that help tackle human tech challenges like e-waste and digital fatigue and make your life that little bit better.

In short, the makers of Nokia phones since 2016 will create new HMD original devices, continue to sell Nokia phones, and work with exciting partners you definitely know as part of a multi-brand vision.

“In our seven-year journey, collaboration and support has allowed us to achieve so much. And we have plans to do so much more as we introduce the world to the new HMD. We want to be a catalyst for positive and profitable change by embracing a multi-brand strategy: crafting new HMD original devices, creating Nokia phones and collaborating with well- known global partners.”
Jean-Francois Baril, HMD Co-founder, Chairman and CEO

Transformation to profit

For the first time ever, the mobile market declined two years in a row in the face of challenging economic conditions, yet HMD bucked the trend thanks to its major transformation project allowing for a significant improvement in operational profitability YoY in 20231. This success is all thanks to fresh, energetic leadership, a sharp focus on strategy, staying nimble, and getting better at keeping costs down.

Repping repair-at-home devices this summer

E-waste is one of today’s most important issues for tech makers and tech users. HMD crafts phones that don’t just turn heads, but also aim to be kinder to the planet and your bank balance.

We make award winning repairable devices (we didn’t say it, TIME Magazine did2) and phones that last longer. HMD is pushing boundaries to make the repairability experience accessible to everyone.

Did you know on average 66% of people in the UK currently live with a smashed screen?3 In Europe and ANZ, repairable devices made up 1:4 of HMD smartphone sales in 20234. This year we expect that to grow to 3:4 devices in Europe and ANZ and we expect half of the smartphone devices we sell globally to be repairable.

This summer, HMD repairability goes to the next level, substantially reducing the number of steps it takes to fix the screen. You can say goodbye to phone separation due to a broken screen and get swept up in the ‘FIY’ (Fix it Yourself) movement.

“One year ago, we introduced our first repairable phone to a great response. 12 months on, we are determined to continue to push the boundaries to reimagine repairability. As more and more people seek out easy to repair devices so they can keep their phone longer – and save hassle or delays when fixes are needed – we’re excited to make that process as easy as possible, starting this summer.”

James Robinson, HMD VP Europe, Americas and Enterprise

Purposefully leaving a lot to the imagination

HMD is all about human innovation. That means making normally expensive digital tools globally accessible and affordable. Whether that’s introducing new payment options to feature phones or adding microfinancing capabilities to smartphones, HMD already has a tradition of human innovation with purpose.

This summer, we are launching a smartphone that is a platform for innovation, making technology more accessible to more communities around the world.

Today, we are releasing a first version toolkit for developers and businesses, which contains design files and information on software integration, that is available now on our website.  We are embracing open innovation, making sure people and businesses can augment their phone to fit their needs.

We want to champion many people’s creativity- which is leaps and bounds beyond what we can achieve solo. The potential is endless.

These could be as simple as a fashionable outfit, an outfit with an extended battery, a payment terminal, barcode scanners, or even portable, connected medical equipment, it really is a blank canvas for creativity.

Multi-brand for the things you expect, and the things you don’t

As Human Mobile Devices, HMD aims to redefine screen time, champion repairability, and forge meaningful partnerships as part of a multi-brand vision. 

You’ll continue to see Nokia phones and we will bring back an iconic phone this summer. You’ll also see a stellar line up of exciting new brands coming to you this year.

“Our commitment to human-centred innovation has spurred our expansion, unlocking new prospects for us and our collaborators, and has been a driving force behind our adoption of a multi-brand strategy. We take pride working with remarkable partners and are excited about extending our collaborative efforts with dynamic new partners like Mattel. Barbie and HMD are on a mission to shake things up with a new flip phone coming this summer”.

Lars Silberbauer, HMD CMO

Catch HMD Fusion in action here!

Speaking of which… 

Hi, Barbie! 

As we venture into new partnerships, HMD will be guided by its core values, seeking collaborations that resonate with its mission. On that note, *drumroll please*, it is thrilled to announce a groundbreaking partnership with Mattel and with Barbie, highlighting our joint dedication to shake things up, empower connections and enable some quiet amidst digital noise and interruptions.

The Barbie Flip Phone will arrive this summer 2024. Promising style, nostalgia and a much-needed digital detox, this retro feature phone will flip the script on smartphone culture and will be this summer’s hottest accessory. 

Head of Consumer Products, Publishing, and LBE, Mattel EMEA, Ruth Henriquez said “At the heart of Mattel is design and innovation, and this latest collaboration is another step forward in that direction. The Barbie x HMD launch promises to be an exciting moment for Barbie fans of all ages, we’re excited to flip the switch and unveil it to the world at Mobile World Congress.”

Human Mobile Devices, Europe’s largest and leading smartphone manufacturer, partners with Mattel, a leading global toy company and owner of one of the strongest portfolios of children’s and family entertainment franchises in the world, to create the Barbie Flip Phone arriving this summer 2024. 

Barbie is an icon of design, from the chevron stripes of No. 1 Barbie released in 1959 to the bold styling of Totally Hair Barbie which hit the market in 1992.  This device promises to embody the vintage chic of the original girl empowerment brand with a dash of pink and of course, sparkle.

Human Mobile Devices Chief Marketing Office, Lars Silberbauer, said: “Is it time to swap reel life for real life and take a breather from all the interruptions of notifications? We’re thrilled to partner with Mattel, a company that shares our commitment to meaningful innovation and societal change.”

Head of Consumer Products, Publishing, and LBE, Mattel EMEA, Ruth Henriquez said “At the heart of Mattel is design and innovation, and this latest collaboration is another step forward in that direction. The Barbie x HMD launch promises to be an exciting moment for Barbie fans of all ages, we’re excited to flip the switch and unveil it to the world at Mobile World Congress.”.

Flip phones are beloved for offering a solution for a digital detox in a world where almost four in ten (38%) of 16-24 year-olds worry they spend too much time on their smartphone1.  In the US alone, a third of Gen Z are actively trying to limit time on social media, and their fear of missing out (FOMO) is creeping down. 2

Gen Z are the only generation whose daily time on social media has fallen since Q1 2021 for the better. Since 2021 talking to friends online dropped 13%, while seeing friends in-person increased to 28%3.

Feature phones are on the rise as Gen Z and millennials are choosing to limit their screen time for their own mental health. Self-named ‘screenagers’ took to TikTok with #bringbackflipphones garnering 60.2 million views4.

But it’s not just a generational shift, it’s a cultural movement. The great switch-off trend, initiated in 2021, is gaining momentum as people of all ages seek balance in an increasingly digital world. Feature phones are making a comeback with HMD reporting Flip Phone sales alone more than doubled in Europe (2022 vs 2023) and expects further growth in 2024.

Even celebrities are jumping on board, with Michael Cera, opting for a flip phone lifestyle.

Arne Mathiasen, advocate of the feature phone movement works with young people in Denmark to help them switch off and enjoy the present. So far he has converted over 1500 university students from a smartphone to a feature phone. He said: “My students take part in experiments where they switch to a feature phone for ten days. The students noticeably chatted more with each other, reported better sleep and also said their anxiety levels dropped. It’s all about the balance; I like to say to my students, use your smartphone like a tablet, use it for what you need, then put it away, don’t get lost in it.”

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