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Five from Finland

Smartphone accessories and solutions

These five Finnish smartphone-related solutions tap into local tech and design knowhow.

Julia Helminen

This quintet has developed various ways to expand the life cycle of smartphones, accessorise them with innovations and protect them with style.

Whilst the sales of new smartphones have dipped considerably during the current pandemic, this doesn’t diminish the importance of what we nowadays hold so often in our hands. Here are five smartphone-focused companies from Finland offering various solutions.

Manufactured in Northern Finland and shipped around the globe, Lastu wooden cases for smartphones are a mix of nature, craftsmanship and design.

Lastu takes an artisan approach to protecting smartphones and promotes a responsible approach to the environment. The main raw material is Finnish wood sourced from certified forests, and both the product and its packaging are plastic neutral.

“Most days we spend more time touching our smartphones than we do our significant other,” noted co-founder Jussi Patopuro. “We wanted to help to make one of the most important items you own that little bit closer to nature and thereby to humanity too. It’s a quality product you’re holding in your hand.”

Founded by three friends out of a desire (and a professional need) to swiftly transform a mobile phone into a quality camera, this Helsinki-based company offers a wide range of accessories for more creative mobile photography and film-making.

The core product line includes various mobile lenses, such as fish-eye, wide-angle, portrait and macro lenses. They all feature a universal attachment system that can be clipped onto most smartphones and similar mobile devices.

“Black Eye opens a lot of new ways for photographing with your phone,” proclaimed co-founder Arto Ekman. “We are taking photography to the next level. The sky’s the limit.”

The innovative screen protectors for mobile phones designed by this successful startup turn the humbly practical accessory into a way to show off some personality and style. Made of tempered glass, they feature a discrete holographic image that disappears when the screen is on.

The unique feature can be used as a powerful branding tool and has quickly captured the interest of businesses and sport clubs as big as Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona.

“People look at their phones a few hundred times a day, so when there is a brand on the screen you see it thousands of times in a month,” pointed out CEO and founder Atso Toimela. “We want to introduce brands people really like. It could be any sports club logo or a character such as Bart Simpson.”

It was in 2016 when the founders of this tech company saw great business potential in refurbishing and selling used phones. Since then, Swappie has raised funding to make a positive social and environmental impact by providing consumers with a sustainable alternative to buying a new phone.

Swappie has built a marketplace for used iPhones and developed a unique repair system that guarantees the quality of all refurbished devices. The company takes pride in helping to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of each phone by extending its life cycle.

“We change all parts that need changing, such as batteries, and sell the phones with a 12-month warranty,” explained co-founder and CEO Sami Marttinen. “In practice, it’s like buying a new phone. We can even fix many manufacturing defects.”

With roots going back to Nokia, this Tampere-based tech company has created a unique software package to cover the whole life cycle of smartphones and similar gadgets. The company’s products are designed to revolutionise the mobile device repair, buyback and recycling business.

“When you buy a new phone, we can transfer the content from your old device to the new one. When it seems to need maintenance, our software can diagnose whether it is necessary and do some basic repairs,” elaborated co-founder Jyri Roselius. “Finally, in a buyback or recycling situation, our software securely erases the device memory so it can never be restored.”

By: Zhanna Koiviola