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Report: Billions of Dollars Worth of Smartphones Lost Annually

03/23/2012 - 

Many of the cities with the highest rates of lost phones were also in the top ranks of the FBI’s most recent crime statistics, according to data from a survey by Lookout Mobile Security, a company that specializes in recovering lost smartphones.

“Each day, seven million dollars worth of phones are lost by Lookout users alone, and if unrecovered, it would take a significant toll not only on our wallets, but on our psyche too,” said Kevin Mahaffey, co-founder of Lookout. “Safeguarding your smartphone starts with protecting it from the number one risk you face--losing it.”

Lookout released its data for recovered phones on Thursday along with the announcement of an interactive Web site on Mobile Lost and Found. Lookout created the site to present findings from data provided by its 15 million users. Last year the company says it located more than nine million phones, and for users--more than $2.5 billion worth. The company also noted the places phones were most commonly lost. The top three cities for phone loss were Philadelphia, Seattle, and Oakland.

Some key findings: Two-thirds of phone loss happens between the hours of 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. local time. And one of the top places to lose your phone at is a bar or pub. More phones are lost during festivals and celebrations. More phones were lost worldwide during Mardi Gras than the average week.

Only about half of lost phones are returned and nearly all people who found the lost phones tried to access the information on the phone,Symantec told USA Today--which are interesting statistics as more andmore industries use mobile devices.

Lookout estimates lost phones could cost U.S. consumers more than $30 billion in 2012. The company recommends smartphone owners use passwords to lock their devices and install some kind of tracking software.

photo byMJ/TR-flickr