Portugal: For those of you looking at your black, plasticy and metallic smartphone cases, here is a Portuguese company that could revolutionize your smartphone experience.
Ikimobile, a Portugese company is set to create a trend, thanks to cases made of cork.
This Portuguese company is producing renewable smartphone cases from cork. For those of you loyal to the idea of a plastic, metal or a glass body as a case for smartphones, the cork based accessory seems like a cool novel product.
This Portugese smartphone manufacturer sold some 400,000 phones in 2017, but the cool cases contributed a whopping 40% in sales revenues.
In an interview with Reuters, Tito Cardoso, the Chief Executive says that his company wants to put Portugal on the path to the future and technologies by emphasizing upon this Portuguese product.
Cork is plentily available in Portugal and is harvested once every nine years from the bark of the oak tree. A naturally occuring material, Portugal and Spain are among the largest producers of cork.
This is how one of the cork based cases looks like
Portugal had been exporting cork based products such as flooring, clothing and even wind turbine blades, but exports in recent years had dropped owing to availability of cheaper plastic and metallic alternatives. It is only recently that export numbers have matched to what Portugal used to export a decade ago.
Processing something which looks like this and is considered a waste, certainly needs tremendous research capabilities.
Ikimobile's website suggests that cork offers insulation as well as protection. "It offers unlimited durability, thermal, acoustic, and anti-vibration insulation at the same time," reads a part on the website.
Besides, once the cork reaches shelf life, it can always be recycled and reused in other areas.
A worker showing the finished output
A layer of cork covers the phone’s back providing thermal, acoustic and anti-shock insulation. The cork comes in colors ranging from black to light brown and has certified antibacterial properties and protects against battery radiation.
Tito Cardoso, CEO of Ikimobile holding the company's products
One look around the company's website, and you can assure yourself that the folks must've been dedicated to preserving nature for opting to work with Cork. The website clearly reads, "Contribute to a better world... Help build a fairer, more humane and more evolved society..."
Ikimobile is planning to launch a phone this year as it transfers most of its production to China.
Ikimobile's plant has a capacity of 1.2 million phones a year, but that may sound like an ocean in the drop compared to global shipments of 1.5 billion smartphones in the past year. So far this smartphone maker has used only natural resins even in research and testing its cases. But with better research and the advantage of presence in Portugal is expected to help Ikimobile compete against some of the top contenders in the world.
Cases made of Cork are available in a number of colors
A Made in Portugal version of the phone is set to launch this year as Ikimobile completes a plant to transfer most of its production from China. Cardoso is hopeful of further fueling research to make more greenery body cases with other natural materials soon. As you read a partnership with north Portugal’s Minho University has already been setup.
Besides Ikimobile, a Swedish based company called 15:21 also makes cork based cases. 15:21 makes cases for the iPhone and cork based wallets.