Nokia phone-maker HMD to launch Barbie flip phone later this year

Nokia phone-maker HMD to launch Barbie flip phone later this year

Human Mobile Devices (HMD), the manufacturer behind Nokia phones, has teamed up with Mattel, the renowned toy giant, to introduce the Barbie Flip Phone, slated for release in the second half of 2024.

The Barbie Flip Phone, as described by HMD, will feature a vibrant hot pink hue with a touch of sparkle, paying homage to the beloved toy brand. Drawing inspiration from various iterations of Barbie over the years, the phone incorporates elements ranging from "the classic chevron stripes of the 1959 No 1 Barbie to the bold styling of the 1992 Totally Hair Barbie".

Lars Silberbauer, Chief Marketing Officer at HMD, emphasized the need to transition from reel life to real life and take a break from the constant interruptions of notifications.

Ruth Henriquez, Head of Consumer Products, Publishing, and LBE at Mattel EMEA, hailed the collaboration as a significant leap in design and innovation. She expressed excitement about unveiling the Barbie x HMD project to Barbie enthusiasts of all ages at the Mobile World Congress.

According to HMD and Mattel, the Barbie Flip Phone aims to address the growing concern of digital overwhelm prevalent in today's society. With nearly four in 10 (38%) of 16-24 year-olds expressing worry about excessive smartphone usage, the rise of flip phones, exemplified by this collaboration, offers a solution for a digital detox.

Recent statistics reveal that a third of GenZ individuals in the US actively seek to limit their time on social media, signaling a cultural shift away from constant digital engagement. Feature phones, once deemed outdated, are experiencing a resurgence in popularity among millennials and GenZ.

HMD reports a surge in flip phone sales in Europe from 2022 to 2023, with expectations of further growth in 2024.

Celebrities, including actor Michael Cera, have embraced the flip phone trend, opting for a simpler lifestyle. This movement has garnered support from advocates like Arne Mathiasen, who collaborates with young people in Denmark to encourage them to disconnect and savor the present moment. Participants in Mathiasen's experiments reported enhanced social interactions, improved sleep, and reduced anxiety levels when using feature phones.

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