Study: Lost mobile phones will cost US users $30 billion in 2012

Have you ever lost a mobile or smartphone? If you have, you are most definitely not alone. That's the claim from a new study commissioned by Lookout, a mobile phone security firm. The study claims that in 2012, all of the phones that are lost by US users could cost U.S. consumers over $30 billion. That extrapolation is based on Lookout's own 2011 numbers which puts a price on each phone that was located using the company's mobile phone security software.

The company has also launched a web site, Mobile Lost and Found, that gives more information about which cities are prone to have more lost phones, what particular kinds of locations are people likely to misplace their mobile devices and more.

The study is based on data taken from Lookout's over 15 million users in 2011. The results show that in the US, a person loses a smartphone at least one time a year. Philadelphia is the city with the most lost or stolen phones, followed by Seattle, Oakland, Long Beach and Detroit. Not surprisingly, phones are lost more in locations like coffee shops, bars and restaurants than anywhere else.

However, the study claims that the city that has the highest likelihood of a person losing a mobile phone is no other than Manchester, England. People in that city can lose their phones twice in one year. By contrast, mobile phone users in Austin, Texas usually lose their device just once in four years.

Losing a mobile phone usually happens more at night. The study claims that two thirds of all phones are lost between 9 pm and 2 am local time.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Is NVIDIA planning to put Kepler GPUs in "superphones"?

Next Story

MOG music service launches Windows app

18 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

That's the plus with GPS on wp7 live site you can find it, ring it, lock it and display a msg on the lock screen or wipe the phone.

Matter can't disappear (especially from coffee shop restaurant of church). That $30 billion property will be found sooner or later. $30b just tells something about morality of society - number of people who are not returning lost property to rightful owners or "loosing" it on purpose.

I never lost my phone, probably wont happen unless its stolen.

im an sms addict and probably use my phone atleast 50+ times a day so its never out of my sight for more than a few minutes!

Doesn't surprise me at all. I don't know a single person whom hasn't lost their phone at least once (other than myself) and some people have lost their phones at least 5 times. They must really be helping the figure for Manchester... It does seem to be women that lose their phone much more though!

Or another way to look at it, it adds another $30 billion to the economy when they have to replace it, creating jobs and services.

JaredFrost said,
Or another way to look at it, it adds another $30 billion to the economy when they have to replace it, creating jobs and services.

The $30 billion is supposed to be spent on other goods and services if they don't lose their phones, so this will not increase GDP of a country (recall what I learnt in Eco class). Check out "broken window fallacy" if you're interested.

JaredFrost said,
Or another way to look at it, it adds another $30 billion to the economy when they have to replace it, creating jobs and services.

I pay $7 US a month in case my phone ever gets damaged, lost or stolen. The thing is, it never does. So I'm contributing to the $30 Billion.

Daydream Express said,

The $30 billion is supposed to be spent on other goods and services if they don't lose their phones, so this will not increase GDP of a country (recall what I learnt in Eco class). Check out "broken window fallacy" if you're interested.

You mean other goods and services they're probably going to purchase anyway? Since in your mind, saving is completely out of the question.

Regardless though, my response was more in jest.

makes me oh so glad that my phone sticks to me like glue....it almost got hit (my phone) by a pop-fly this morning, almost being the key word....but it would've survived a mortar attack as far as I know....gorilla glass FTW! (and quick pop-fly reflexes...)

Piracy is the blame, it's the root of all evil and pain in the world.

That just came into my head because the MPAA has pumped it into my head that piracy is to blame for everything bad. I've never lost or broke any of my 4 phones in my life, my sister on the other hand has broke or lost more than I can count and she is 4 years younger than me.

Nokia 3330
Samsung SGH-D600
Nokia N95 8GB
Samsung Omnia 7

I just realized all my phones have been Nokia or Samsung, I plan to get a Nokia WP7 phone next as well, strange.

Edited by Gaffney, Mar 25 2012, 2:07am :