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.

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