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HMD Unveils New Strategy to Focus on Repairable, Affordable Mobile Tech

With its latest strategic shift, HMD aims to make mobile devices more repairable and eco-friendly.

HMD Global, the company behind Nokia phones since 2016, has unveiled its vision for the future, focusing on creating Human Mobile Devices that are affordable, attractive, desirable and repairable. This vision addresses pressing human tech issues such as e-waste and digital fatigue, aiming to improve users’ lives by providing devices that are both functional and sustainable.

As part of its evolving strategy, HMD will not only continue to develop and sell Nokia phones but will also introduce original HMD devices and collaborate with well-known partners, embracing a multi-brand approach. 

Expressing HMD’s ambition to drive positive change through this new strategy, Jean-Francois Baril, HMD’s Co-founder, Chairman and CEO remarked, “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.”

Overcoming market challenges

Despite a downturn in the mobile market over the last two years, HMD has seen a notable improvement in its operational profitability year-over-year in 2023, thanks to a significant transformation project. The company attributes this success to dynamic leadership, strategic focus, agility and effective cost management.

Championing repairability

Electronic waste is a pressing concern for both manufacturers and consumers in the tech industry. HMD is set to enhance its commitment to sustainability and repairability this summer, making it easier for users to repair devices themselves, thus contributing to reducing e-waste. 

The company has been recognized for its efforts in creating devices that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also planet-friendly and economical. HMD aims to increase the proportion of repairable devices sold, anticipating that a majority of its smartphones sold globally will be repairable.

James Robinson, HMD’s VP for Europe, Americas and Enterprise, highlighted the company’s determination to redefine repairability. “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,” he said. “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.” 

In the UK, it’s estimated that 66% of the population is using phones with damaged screens. In Europe and ANZ (Australia and New Zealand), HMD’s repairable smartphones accounted for one in four sales in 2023. As per HMD, projections for the current year indicate an anticipated rise, with three out of four devices sold in Europe and ANZ expected to be repairable and a global target of 50% for repairable smartphone sales.

Fostering human innovation

HMD is dedicated to making advanced digital tools accessible and affordable worldwide. This includes introducing innovative payment options and microfinancing capabilities. The upcoming launch of a smartphone designed as a platform for innovation reflects HMD’s commitment to making technology more widely available. A toolkit for developers and businesses has been released to support open innovation, allowing for the customization of devices to meet individual needs.

A multi-brand vision

In its pursuit of redefining screen time and prioritizing repairability, HMD plans to extend its product range beyond Nokia phones, including the revival of an iconic phone model this summer. Additionally, HMD has announced a collaboration with Mattel to introduce a new Barbie-themed flip phone, underscoring its multi-brand vision and commitment to delivering diverse and innovative products.

Lars Silberbauer, HMD’s CMO, expressed excitement about the company’s human-centered innovation and the opportunities it brings for expansion and collaboration. “We take pride [in] 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,” he added.

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