HMD Global Goes ‘Multibrand’, Ups Repairability, Unveils Fusion

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HDM Global has announced a brand restructure, more owner reparable phones, and an innovative third party configurable phone range called fusion.

It made the announcement at a media conference ahead of Mobile World Congress, an international telecommunications event being held in Barcelona.

The Finnish phone maker had been manufacturing Android phones under the Nokia name. It has the right to use the “Nokia” brand until 2026.

Global head of insight, proposition, and product marketing Adam Ferguson said Nokia was moving to “a house of brands structure”. Android phones would be branded under the HMD Global name, a range of feature phones would be branded Nokia and the company was releasing a Fusion brand comprising a generic phone that can easily be repurposed for a range of applications.

IMG 7182 scaled HMD Global Goes Multibrand, Ups Repairability, Unveils Fusion
HMD Global launch event

“The HMD original devices that you’re going to see is a lovely, exciting new chapter for us,” Mr Ferguson said. “We also absolutely are still going to be doing the Nokia licensee part. It is a very, very important part of our strategy going forward,” he told ChannelNews Australia.

HMD Global didn’t announce any specific new phones but foreshadowed a range of phones to be unveiled mid year.

Mr Ferguson said about a quarter of HMD Global’s portfolio in 2023 offered self repair. “We’re going to triple that by the end of 2024,” he said.

Kyle Wien, the founder of self-repair company iFixit, attended the event and told ChannelNews Australia that iFixit would make self repair videos for HMD Global, and stock replacement parts and the tools needed to repair them.

“We’re doing more and more of these partnerships directly with manufacturers,” he said. “Part of our business is changing. We’re working more on the design side with manufacturers, helping them improve repairability.”

Owners will be able to replace the battery, the screen, the charging port and the back case – sections of the phone that commonly wear out over time.

Mr Ferguson said the Fusion brand comprised a software platform that can easily be modified to create special purpose phones, such as a health monitoring device or a phone made especially to handle media recording.

“There’s a network of businesses we work with that will be able to add their own features to a device, either from a hardware or software so

“Say, for example, in the medical space you could have an app which allows you to do testing of blood or diabetes or something like that. You can then create a hardware integration with the device and launch it to be able to test people’s blood.

“Let’s say you’re a gamer or a streamer. Normally you’re locked in at home with your full setup: your mic, your cameras, and everything. You can create an outfit for the device which has a little boom mic, you have the cameras obviously from the phone already built in, the controllers on the side, and then you can take your streaming on the go with you.”

“The use cases are only limited by your imagination.

“The really big opportunity here is that we’re releasing the digital files and the CAB files and the software integration details today. We’re making it open source so that people can start thinking about what they might want to create.”

HMD Global also announced a collaboration with Mattel to produce a Barbie flip phone. See this separate story.

‘Mr Ferguson said HMD Global had changed massively in the past 18 months.

“The business has now become very profitable. That gives us a great springboard into 2024. That’s why we’re doing this house of brands, and bringing in all these new elements to support the fantastic licensee work.”

HMD Global chairperson Janne Baril, who is now also CEO, chief marketing officer Lars Silberbaur, and senior vice president James Robinson all spoke at the launch event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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