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Portuguese Tech Firm Uncorks a Smartphone Made Using Cork

Portugal is the world’s largest cork producer and the phone also marks the latest effort to diversify its use beyond wine bottle stoppers

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Tito Cardoso, CEO of Ikimobile, stands inside the Ikimobile factory in Coruche, Portugal, June 21, 2018.
Tito Cardoso, CEO of Ikimobile, stands inside the Ikimobile factory in Coruche, Portugal, June 21, 2018. (VOA)
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A Portuguese tech firm is uncorking an Android smartphone whose case is made from cork, a natural and renewable material native to the Iberian country.

The Ikimobile phone is one of the first to use materials other than plastic, metal and glass and represents a boost for the country’s technology sector, which has made strides in software development but less in hardware manufacturing.

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.

“Ikimobile wants to put Portugal on the path to the future and technologies by emphasizing this Portuguese product,” chief executive Tito Cardoso told Reuters at Ikimobile’s plant in the cork-growing area of Coruche, 80 km (50 miles) west of Lisbon.

“We believe the product offers something different, something that people can feel good about using,” he said. Cork is harvested only every nine years without hurting the oak trees and is fully recyclable.

Portugal is the world’s largest cork producer and the phone also marks the latest effort to diversify its use beyond wine bottle stoppers.

A technician shows a piece of cork used for a smartphone produced at the Ikimobile factory in Coruche, Portugal, June 21, 2018.
A technician shows a piece of cork used for a smartphone produced at the Ikimobile factory in Coruche, Portugal, June 21, 2018. (VOA)

Portuguese cork exports have lately regained their peaks of 15 years ago as cork stoppers clawed back market share from plastic and metal. Portugal also exports other cork products such as flooring, clothing and wind turbine blades.

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.

Cardoso said Ikimobile is working with north Portugal’s Minho University to make the phone even “greener” and hopes to replace a plastic body base with natural materials soon.The material, agglomerated using only natural resins, required years of research and testing for the use in phones.

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The plant should churn out 1.2 million phones a year — a drop in the ocean compared to last year’s worldwide smartphone market shipments of almost 1.5 billion.

Most cell phones are produced in Asia but local manufacture helps take advantage of the availability of cork and the “Made in Portugal” brand appeals to consumers in Europe, Angola, Brazil and Canada, Cardoso said.

In 2017, it sold 400,000 phones assembled in China in 2017, including simple feature phones. It hopes to surpass that amount with local production this year. Top-of-the-line cork models, costing 160-360 euros ($187-$420), make up 40 percent of sales.(VOA)

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Nokia 7.1 Smartphone With ‘Pure Display’ Now in India

Being an Android One phone, the Nokia 7.1 will receive three years of monthly security patches

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Nokia unveils 8.1 with 'PureDisplay' screen technology.

Finnish company HMD Global, which sells Nokia-branded smartphones, on Friday launched the Nokia 7.1 smartphone for Rs 19,999 in India, a month after unveiling the device in London.

This smartphone is first to feature “PureDisplay” screen technology for HDR10 cinematic quality entertainment.

The smartphone would be available in gloss midnight blue and gloss steel colours starting December 7 across retailers and on Nokia.com/phones.

“It was important for us to bring both ZEISS optics and ‘PureDisplay’ technology together in a device that offers a superior content experience, regardless of whether you’re taking photos for social media or watching your favourite streaming service,” Ajey Mehta, Vice President and Country Head, India, HMD Global, said in a statement.

The Nokia 7.1 features ZEISS Optics with 12MP + 5MP dual rear sensors with autofocus and an 8MP selfie snapper.

There’s a full HD+ 5.84-inch display with 19:9 aspect ratio.

Nokia
Representational image. (IANS)

The Nokia 7.1 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 chipset, optimised for content consumption with first-class graphics performance and battery efficiency coupled with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage.

The device sports USB type-C fast-charging that delivers up to 50 per cent juice in 30 minutes .

Possessing a unique interplay on colour by using glass refraction, the Nokia 7.1 achieves deep, rich and neutral colours that capture both light and depth, the company added.

The device has dual-anodised aluminium diamond-cut coloured edges.

Also Read- Dell Admits That Hackers Tried to Steal Customer Information From its Network

Being an Android One phone, the Nokia 7.1 will receive three years of monthly security patches.

The smartphone has recently been upgraded to Android 9 Pie OS, thus, bringing new features, including “App Actions” which is exclusive to Android One devices and Google Pixel phones. (IANS)