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Putting the Human in Mobile Devices at MWC 2024

published on 6 min read
The Barbie announcement at MWC 2024

Phew, what a ride. Thanks Barcelona, MWC 2024 that’s a wrap!

Mobile World Congress 2024 came and went in the blink of an eye, and what a ride the past week has been. Time really does fly when you’re having fun. And boy, did we have fun! As it was our first MWC since our transformation, there was so much exciting news we had to tell, and some many great experiences from the HMD team on the ground to share. Here’s the full breakdown of how it went, and how some of what we shared landed.

Buzz for the Barbie™ flip phone

Thanks to our partnership with Mattel, we’re bringing you the Barbie Flip Phone to help you live out your Dreamhouse fantasy and take a digital detox at the same time.

“A fun brand collaboration for HMD adding a Barbie Flip (feature) Phone in July as part of the new "house of brands" strategy from HMD.

— Ben Wood, Chief Analyst & CMO at CCS Insight

We were thrilled to share the stage with Isabel Ferrer, EMEA Marketing Director for Dolls portfolio and Barbie Franchise at Mattel for this announcement. Isabel reflected on the success of Barbie and attributed it to a “simple formula” of “purpose times relevance; a brand that both reflected and inspired culture.” Being meaningful and staying current is something that really resonates with us here at HMD, and a philosophy that pairs perfectly with flip phones. In a world where we’re always connected, we sometimes need to take time offline to cultivate our most meaningful connections – and a flip phone helps you do exactly that, in style.

The response has been fantastic. The Verge and 9to5Google have picked up news of the Barbie Flip Phone, to name just a few.

With over 250 careers and over 175 looks under her belt, Barbie really is, as Isabel put it, the “original girl empowerment brand.” And we can’t wait to put her phone in your hands. Stay tuned for July 2024.

Big splash with innovation from HMD Fusion

When we talk about innovative ideas, we don’t just mean us – we mean you too. We want to see your creativity come to life. That’s the idea behind HMD Fusion.

Essentially, HMD Fusion is a slimline computer core that’s slim enough to fit into smartphone outfits. With the toolkit we released during MWC, you can design hardware and software around the HMD Fusion chip.

What this means is that if you’ve got a task in mind that you want a phone to perform, HMD Fusion will help you out. Some functionalities you could tackle include payment terminals, barcode scanners, and other portable connected equipment. And if you don’t have anything specific in mind, no problem– what about an outfit with an additional battery? Or do you just want to design something that gives the phone your signature “wow” factor? Then go for it!

The first HMD Fusion smartphone will land this summer. So, in the meantime, get your hands on that toolkit and start tinkering.

HMD logos displayed at MWC 2024
HMD at Barcelona for MWC 2024

An iconic Nokia phone is on the way

“Our journey began seven years ago, right here in Barcelona during MWC, with the launch of the Nokia 3310,” reminisced Jean-Francois Baril, HMD Co-founder, Chairman and CEO, when he took the stage at MWC this year. And, staying true to our roots, we’re gearing up to release another Nokia phone legend this summer, redesigned for modern times.

Jean-Francois went on to talk a bit about what you can expect from HMD in 2024. “You will get to see unique HMD originals this year, Nokia phones, and some super exciting partnerships we are about to reveal!”

Add that to the list of things you can look forward to this summer. In the meantime, if you want to be first in line for further updates, sign up for our newsletter. It’s free, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

More repairability

Repairability is a win-win. You win because you can fix the phone at home yourself, and for much less than going to a repair shop. The planet wins because your phone doesn’t need replacing as soon, saving natural resources. When you take that into account, and the fact that a broken screen is the number-one out-of-warranty problem for smartphone owners, it’s no surprise to see that repairable smartphones have taken off in popularity. In Europe last year, one out of every four of our smartphone sales was our repair-it-yourself devices. And in fact, we expect that number to grow to three out of every four smartphone device sales this year.

We want to keep a good thing going, so in July 2024, you’ll see the next stage of smartphone repairability. Our next repair-it-yourself smartphone will be even easier to repair. It will look good, too. Really good. In fact, our very own James Robinson, HMD VP for Europe, Americas and Enterprise, described it as possibly “our most beautiful phone ever.”

Humans of Human Mobile Devices

So many amazing experiences for the HMD team at MWC 2024, we can’t forget to share some of the human side of the event. Tears of joy, sleepless nights, dozens upon dozens of energizing meetings, and a truckload of pride and positive feedback. We set out to turn up differently in what so often looks like a sea of sameness, and for the humans of the HMD team wrapping up at the end of this year’s event – the feelings we’re left with are a mix of gratefulness and excitement for what’s to come!

The HMD team at MWC 2024
The HMD team at MWC 2024

That’s it in a nutshell

At HMD, 2024 will be all about bringing you more of what you know and love: more Nokia phones, more repair-it-yourself phones, and more innovations. Spring is in the air, and with summer just after it, it won’t be long before these announcements become reality.

They’ll be more news between now and then. If you want to get your eyes on it first, then you want the HMD newsletter. Just tell us the email address you want it sent to and voilà – you’re part of the inner circle.

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© 2024 Mattel.

Barbie and associated trademarks are owned by Mattel and used under license from Mattel Europa.