I contacted Nokia to comment on the new strategy HMD Global announced over its CEO. The move HMD is taking will surely reflect on the Nokia branded phones they are manufacturing (not sure if the effect will be as strong as “burning memo”). Anyways, Nokia’s spokesperson sent an official statement, which is shot and simple and here it is:
We wish HMD Global every success in their transition to a multi-brand strategy.
Original post 11.09.2023
Jean Francois Baril, the CEO of HMD Global, announced on LinkedIn that HMD Global is entering a new era. The company will launch its own independent line of smartphones. The LinkedIn post does not specify the date of the new phone announcement, but HMD-branded devices will be introduced alongside the Nokia devices. The new brand will also bring collaborations with new partners, although these partners are currently undisclosed.
The decision to establish its own brand didn’t happen overnight. As you may have noticed, HMD has been safeguarding its brand at the EUIPO office for several years. The challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the complexities of 2022 accelerated their pursuit of a new future for the company. The most recent EUIPO filings likely offer a glimpse of how the brand will appear on the new HMD phones.
Baril also mentioned that HMD has established its own Research and Development, software development, distribution, and operational networks. These initiatives are expected to expedite the brand’s growth. HMD is now recognized as the fastest-growing 5G smartphone manufacturer with a diverse portfolio of devices suitable for digital detoxification.
So, it does seem like HMD is preparing for life after its licensing agreement with Nokia expires. The deal to reintroduce Nokia devices was signed in 2016, and the contract will end in 2026, which is just two years away, plus a few months. Additionally, there is a possibility that Nokia might want to continue licensing its phone brand to another manufacturer and is advising HMD to be prepared.
All in all, a new player is entering the smartphone business. I look forward to seeing what strategy HMD will adopt. Will it be the same, focusing on a wide range of devices oriented toward sustainability and affordability, or might there be a competitive device as well?