Launched in 2015, IKImobile is the first and only phone producing company in the Iberic Peninsula and one of the very few in Europe. This company, awarded with the first place in a design contest during one of the most important mobile phone conventions in the world, Mobile World Factory in Barcelona, has an interesting peculiarity: they produce phones made out of an autochthonous raw material: cork.
This project started from the desire to reach a specific goal: to promote and pratice sustainability by replacing plastic, a very harmful material for our planet, with an eco-friendly alternative, which, in this case is cork. Produced locally, it has advantages such as being an anti-bacterial, natural and resistant material, besides the fact that using it, products acquire a more refined, modern and original look. We highlight that the cork used by the company is recycled, made out of the offcuts and pieces of cork that don´t fit the necessary requirements for the production of cork taps.
However, in order to appeal to a wider range of clients they also produce regular mobile phones with plastic as one of their main components. The phones are equipped with an android operating system and also dual sim. There is also the possibility to choose for a touchscreen or a dial pad phone. They also have a range specially designed to be extremely resistant since it is specifically marketed for construction workers, for example. The company offers their clients the possibility of having a costumized phone, so it is possible for other companies to buy their phones and costumize them with their logo and therefore, creating a new brand. This procedure is made using both cold and ultra-violet radiation.
Phone prices vary between 20 and 360 € and the factory has the capacity to produce around 30 thousand mobile phones per month. Nevertheless the amount of mobiles produced varies depending on the number of orders placed during the month. These are exported worldwide but mainly to Angola, Israel and Canada.
Despite stating that the product’s internal parts include some cork, the majority consists of plastic and does not differs from others regular phones, although this was pointed out and it was claimed that at the moment the company is working on a solution to this, preferably involving no plastic and consisting entirely of cork. However, from a technological point of view, faith that such project is possible is questionable, according to Bruno Cardoso, responsible for the quality control in this company.