In a nutshell: HMD Global is not only the creator of Nokia-branded handsets but also the largest smartphone maker in Europe. Now, the firm has announced it has become the first major phone company to manufacture devices in Europe, starting with the 5G Nokia XR21.
Earlier this year, the Finnish company announced it would be moving some of its manufacturing to its home continent as a way of addressing the security and sustainability concerns of enterprise customers.
HMD Global never revealed exactly where in Europe it would be manufacturing due to its customers being in various security-conscious industries. It previously built Nokia smartphones in China and India using manufacturing partner Foxconn.
The company has now confirmed that at least one of the manufacturing locations is in Hungary, though it never specified where in the country the facility was located.
The first Made-in-Hungary model is the 5G Nokia XR21. TechCrunch notes that this is pretty much the same as the XR21 that launched earlier this year, the only differences being its European manufacturing location and a higher level of security assurance for enterprise customers "through customized software and security features." An HMD Global spokesperson said the company was working with a number of additional IT security partners.
HMD Global said it is making 50 limited-edition versions of the 5G Nokia XR21, 30 of which will be available to the public via the online Nokia store. It costs €699 ($732) and will be available to consumers in the U.K., France, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy, and Finland. The "Made in Europe" Nokia XR21 features a special frosted platinum color and certificate of origin. Nokia said it also plans to launch a standard version, also for consumers.
Back in 2019, HMD Global said it was moving its data collection center to Europe. Consumer and corporate data from all of its smartphones have been held and processed on servers in Finland ever since.
HMD Global announced last month that it would be launching its own line of phones to sit alongside the Nokia devices. The Nokia licensing agreement ends in 2026, leading some to speculate that the company may be preparing to lose the contract when the time comes, allowing its own line of phones to step into the gap.