Swappie refurbishes iPhones at their Helsinki facility – a 52-stage inspection guarantees quality

Did you know that Finnish company Swappie sells phones refurbished at its own facilities in Helsinki? Phones that arrive at the facilities pass through the hands of several professionals before reaching the customer. The process is led by Otso Ojanen, who has previously worked at BCG in similar environments with some of the world’s leading companies. He is responsible for Swappie’s operations.

“Each phone is an individual with a specific history. It also passes through our process as an individual, which makes it like new,” Ojanen says.

Before servicing a phone, Swappie’s technicians test each one using a 52-step process. A technician checks all of the phone’s functions one by one: does the touch screen work? Is the battery in excellent condition? Does the speaker crackle? How about the microphone? Are the colours displayed correctly?  

Once all faulty components are replaced or refurbished, the phone goes through another inspection process. When the phone is ready, a technician selects a condition category to indicate its external appearance, and then the phone is put on sale on Swappie’s website.

“The condition category of the phone mentioned on Swappie’s website only describes the external condition of the device, such as minor scratches. Some phones look brand new, some may have small traces of use, such as scratches. Every phone we sell works equally well,” says Ojanen.  

The team of technicians includes a watchmaker

Swappie has already sold hundreds of thousands of phones to Europe, all refurbished in Helsinki. The service is based on the company’s constantly evolving in-house technologies.  

“Our technicians know how to fix faults that no other company in Europe can fix. Our work is standardised, top-quality handicraft,” says Ojanen. 

In addition to professionals in the field, Swappie’s team of technicians includes former watchmakers; a precision task like repairing phones. Experience ensures that the customer receives a well-functioning, completely refurbished phone.  

“In the best case scenario, a phone comes in to us in the morning and is sent to the customer in the afternoon. This means that we have tested, diagnosed and sold the phone on the same day,” says Ojanen.  

For the customer, buying a phone is a rare and major financial decision. That is why each phone is refurbished individually. The customer gets a fully functional phone in a neat package that includes a charging cable and SIM tray ejector tool. 

“We only send fully functional, expertly refurbished phones to customers,” says Ojanen.  

Hundreds of new employees

Swappie, founded in 2016, has expanded rapidly. Today, the company sells phones in many European countries and the list of countries is constantly expanding. Last year, the staff worked only in Finland, and the plan for this year is to expand by opening a facility in Tallinn to ensure global growth.

Growth needs people to facilitate it. In 2020, the number of employees in the company increased from 200 to 400, and the plan for 2021 is to hire a further 400 employees. Currently, Swappie’s employees represent 47 different nationalities.

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