HMD, or Human Mobile Devices for short, is launching a Barbie-branded flip phone in July.


BARCELONA — Not yet tired of the Barbie movie?

Soon, you’ll be able to get a flip phone from the blockbuster toy franchise.

The company behind Nokia-branded smartphones, HMD, short for Human Mobile Devices, says it is launching a Barbie flip phone this summer, in partnership with toy maker Mattel.

Mattel is the company behind the Barbie fashion doll collection. It has produced and sold the popular kids’ toys and accessories since 1959.

The device, which is slated for launch this summer, “promises to embody the vintage chic of the original girl empowerment brand with a dash of pink and of course, sparkle,” according to a HMD press release.

It won’t be connected to the internet, making it a throwback to the “dumb phones” of yesteryear before smartphones became popular.

So-called dumb phones have become more popular, especially with Gen Z consumers, who are trying to limit their digital activity and move away from toxic content found on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and YouTube.

Lars Silberbauer, HMD’s chief marketing officer, said it was “time to swap reel life for real life and take a breather from all the interruptions of notifications.”

The device looks like a standard flip phone with buttons rather than a touch screen, and comes in a hot pink color, resembling the iconic pink flip phone accessory that comes with many Barbie dolls.

It is the first device being sold by HMD under its new brand name, Human Mobile Devices — or HMD for short. This is a step away from Nokia which is the brand HMD typically has used to sell its dumb phones and smartphones. 

Under a revamp, HMD plans to still sell Nokia phones. But it will partner with other brands to sell phones that only represent their brand, rather than HMD, with the company acting as a kind of white label hardware maker behind the scenes.

HMD was spun out of Microsoft after the U.S. tech giant decided to sell the Nokia phone brand, which it first purchased in 2014, to a group of former Nokia executives. HMD Global was established in 2016.

Barbie mania became a phenomenon in 2023 due to a blockbuster movie featuring the likes of Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, and Will Ferrell. The film pulled in over $1.4 billion at the box office, making it the highest-grossing film of 2023.

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