HMD to release Barbie flip phone this summer

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HMD to release Barbie flip phone this summer
It's MWC time and the latest manufacturer to make some noise in Barcelona is HMD. You remember HMD, right? They are the company that licensed the proud Nokia name to keep the brand first associated with high-end smartphones going. Last year HMD announced that it will start making phones under its own HMD brand. And today, the company said that HMD will now stand for Human Mobile Devices.

And there's more. HMD and Mattel have decided to team up and this summer the Barbie flip phone will be coming to the marketplace. Obviously the two companies are trying to take advantage of the return of Barbiemania which occurred after the Barbie movie was released last year. This will not be a smartphone and Human Mobile Devices Chief Marketing Officer, Lars Silberbauer, put on his pun hat to compose the following, "Is it time to swap reel life for real life and take a breather from all the interruptions of notifications? We’re thrilled to partner with Mattel, a company that shares our commitment to meaningful innovation and societal change."

Mattel also had to throw in its two cents and the toy maker's Head of Consumer Products, Publishing, and LBE in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Ruth Henriquez, stated, "At the heart of Mattel is design and innovation, and this latest collaboration is another step forward in that direction. The Barbie x HMD launch promises to be an exciting moment for Barbie fans of all ages, we're excited to flip the switch and unveil it to the world at Mobile World Congress."

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Human Mobile Devices says that there is a market for feature phones as 38% of those 16-24 years of age worry about spending too much time online. Maybe I'm just an old phone nerd, but if you want to take my smartphone away from me, you'll have to pry it out of my cold dead hands. Is anyone out there with me on this? 


A guy in Denmark named Arne Mathiasen is said to be the advocate of the feature phone movement and tries to get young people in Denmark to switch to a feature phone from a  smartphone. He has converted 1,500 university students so far and says, "My students take part in experiments where they switch to a feature phone for ten days. The students noticeably chatted more with each other, reported better sleep and also said their anxiety levels dropped. It’s all about the balance; I like to say to my students, use your smartphone like a tablet, use it for what you need, then put it away, don’t get lost in it."

Flip phone sales doubled in Europe last year according to HMD with further gains expected this year. Talking about the Barbie flip phone, Human Mobile Devices says, "This device promises to embody the vintage chic of the original girl empowerment brand with a dash of pink and of course, sparkle." If a Ken model is made, we wonder if it will have a camera bump.

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