It’s official: Nokia manufacturer HMD launching it’s own phones

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The Nokia brand has a long, interesting history in the smartphone space. While that may be a fun topic to dive into some other time, for now let’s just focus on the fact that since 2016 Nokia phones have been manufactured by a company called HMD – or “Human Mobile Devices”.

Today in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress, HMD has confirmed that it is evolving, with plans to launch devices under its own “HMD” brand, while also continuing to manufacture and sell Nokia devices.

The company has also confirmed that it plans to “collaborate with inspirational partners” as well. It’s first partnership is with Mattel, with a Barbie Flip phone set to arrive later this year.

“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

Repairability is key

Last year HMD released the Nokia G22, a phone notable in the fact that it was designed to let you easily repair a broken screen or replace a battery without needing to go to a repair shop or the manufacturer.

The success of this phone seems to have given the brand focus. With its upcoming devices, HMD is promising to reduce the number of steps it takes to fix a broken screen.

It also expects that half the phones it sells globally this year to be repairable.

“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

While there’s not a huge amount of detail about what those devices will look like, either under the HMD or the Nokia brand, it did tease its first device, the HMD Fusion.

The idea, at least from the early indications, is a device geared towards custom hardware and software mods.

HMD is pitching it as a “smartphone that is a platform for innovation, making technology more accessible to more communities around the world.”

There’s a toolkit available for developers and businesses, with HMD proposing ideas like “a fashionable outfit, an outfit with an extended battery, a payment terminal, barcode scanners, or even portable, connected medical equipment”.

Not forgetting about Nokia

While Barbie and HMD’s own brand are a big focus moving forward, HMD is still committed to Nokia.

As part of the announcement, HMD has promised to bring back an iconic Nokia phone this year.

There’s no indication of what iconic device that may be, but I’m hoping for the N-Gage.

Author

  • Nick Broughall

    Nick is the founder and editor of BTTR. He is an award winning product reviewer, who has spent the last 20 years writing, editing and publishing technology and consumer content for brands like Finder, Gizmodo and TechRadar.

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