The Mobile World Congress (MWC) is set to start on February 26 in Barcelona, Spain, with various brands showcasing their latest innovations in mobile technology. HMD Global has confirmed its presence at the event, but it appears that the company may not launch any smartphones during the exhibition, contrary to what was expected.
HMD Global, previously known as “the home of Nokia phones,” has undergone significant transformation. The company has rebranded itself as HMD, which stands for Human Mobile Devices. As part of the rebranding, HMD Global has also changed the names of Nokia’s social media accounts and website to Human Mobile Devices (HMD). Furthermore, the Nokia.com/phones URL now directs users to HMD Global’s website. Rumours had been circulating that HMD Global might launch new devices under its own brand at MWC.
Sources familiar with the development have told The Mobile Indian that HMD is set to divulge its market strategy for HMD-branded phones across various regions during MWC, refraining from introducing any new smartphones at the event. Instead, the focus will shift towards unveiling smartphones in different countries starting in March, with an emphasis on budget and mid-budget segments. The company aims to differentiate its offerings through attention to Color, Materials, and Finish (CMF) in its new HMD-branded lineup.
Priority markets for HMD include India and Africa, leveraging existing networks and in-house resources to penetrate these regions effectively. Founded in 2016 by ex-Nokia executives, HMD Global initially sought to reintroduce Nokia-branded phones and devices to the market, securing a 10-year license from Nokia.
Despite the rebranding, HMD Global will continue launching Nokia smartphones until the conclusion of the licensing agreement in 2026. However, the focus will predominantly be on feature phones, a segment where Nokia maintains a significant market share, particularly in India and Africa.
With HMD’s decision to operate independently, Nokia finds itself in familiar company alongside former giants like BlackBerry and Palm. These brands once dominated the mobile phone segment but eventually succumbed to fierce competition from industry behemoths like Apple and Google, eventually leaving the market.