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All reports from MWC 2024 in Barcelona

The most unexpected brand partnership has given us an amazing phone that is making us excited for the future. Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2024. HMD Global, the company that produces phones under this name Nokia, is collaborating with toy maker Mattel to create a clamshell for Barbie. Yeah, What Barbie. But don’t worry, it will be nothing more than a pink version of an old Nokia phone.

“Let me put it this way,” Adam Ferguson, head of product marketing at HMD Global, said with a smile during a Zoom call during the show. “Mattel, and Barbie in particular, is not a brand that offers anything out of the ordinary.”

The interesting thing is that both companies have much higher ambitions than launching yet another memorable product.

Is it too late?

Promotional image of the HMD Global and Mattel brand partnership.
HMD Global

Barbie flip phone was announced at MWC 2024, but the extremely popular Barbie movie Barbienominated for an Oscar, released in mid-2023, so did the company miss all the fever Barbie and the chaos of Barbenheimer, which seemed like the perfect opportunity to launch such a device? While that’s fair, Barbie isn’t just a movie; Not much less. In a recent interview with The Drum, Mattel President and CEO Richard Dixon said, “Barbie comes through product interpretations, but the idea is bigger than any product.”

Ferguson agreed, saying the idea that the phone came “late” “misses the essence of what the Barbie brand is, the trajectory it’s on, and what it means.”

What will the phone be about if it’s more than just another collaboration? Ferguson continued, “It’s been really rewarding and rewarding to work with the Mattel team, see the journey that Barbie has gone through over the past few years, and we were able to talk about things like digital detox and girls in tech.” “

HMD Global 2024 brand promotional image.
HMD Global

The Barbie flip phone will not be a full-fledged smartphone, but will be a feature phone that will play to HMD Global’s strengths as a manufacturer and will be where the digital detox connection comes into play. According to research cited by the company, this is a concern for many young people aged 16 to 24, with many trying to limit their time on social media.

“This particular device will have a classic form factor, and that’s part of the appeal for this particular audience,” Ferguson said. “They are extremely digitally savvy and live online, but they are also extremely concerned about spending too much time on social media and on their phones. They admit it. “We’re trying to help with real issues and problems that people are facing.”

What will make a phone special?

Promotional image of the HMD Global and Mattel brand partnership.
HMD Global

If Barbie’s flip phone is being created to promote things like digital detoxification, what will it be? Ferguson wasn’t about to ruin the surprise entirely, but said:

“There will be new things in the software and a wonderful new look. There will be new items in box and packaging. In this partnership, we are doing everything individually with Mattel. Obviously there are certain elements of the historical order because there is a reason why they want to work with us. “They want to take advantage of the incredible heritage we have as the sole manufacturer of Nokia devices.”

As Ferguson explained, the path to Barbie’s phone flip was a collaboration:

“One of the best things about the partnership is the excellent two-way dialogue. We went through dozens of design iterations because Barbie is more than just a color palette and the brand as a whole stands for so much more. As for the final version, we’re not revealing the final design yet, but there were a lot of conversations and it was a truly collaborative design process.”

Pixelated final design?

Promotional image of the HMD Global and Mattel brand partnership.
HMD Global

But don’t expect to stray too far from what Barbie is known for in phone design, as HMD Global says the phone will “embody the vintage elegance of the original female empowerment brand with a touch of pink and sparkle.”

To heighten our anticipation for the Barbie flip phone, HMD Global released the unusual pixelated teaser image seen above at MWC 2024, and it doesn’t reveal anything other than the expected color of the phone. However, there is a reason for such a provocation, as Ferguson explained:

“We could show what the phone looks like and also show its features and specifications. But if you do, the focus will be on the phone itself and the inside of the device. But there is more to tell here, and we will do it closer to launch.

The Barbie flip phone is slated to release this summer, and in case you weren’t sure how much effort these two brands have put into making this phone a movie-sized hit, Ferguson concluded our conversation about the device with these words: “That’s what we do.” everything we can.”

Now we just need an announcement about Oppenheimer’s foldable phone (presumably with one big red button) to prepare us for the unlikely mobile-centric 2023 repeat.

Source: Digital Trends

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