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The statistics behind phones that go AWOL

Posted: , by Ian M.

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The statistics behind phones that go AWOL
If you haven’t already, there is a good chance that one of these days, maybe even years from now, you will lose a phone or perhaps even have one stolen from you. Take a look of these statistics behind the phones that go AWOL.

The fine citizens over at Mashable have all of the answers for us courtesy of data provided by mobile security specialist Lookout. First of all, we should let all of you know that if you live in Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Sacramento, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay, hold on to your phone extra tight because you are right in the thick of things. In order, those 10 cities are the top areas for cell phone loss and theft. Over half of Miami citizens, about 52%, have lost their phone or have had it stolen. That is an astounding number

The statistics behind phones that go AWOL
In addition to the top 10 cities for vanishing devices, they also compiled a list of the top 10 worst places in which you can lose your phone and the percentage of recovering it. Number 10 on the list is very common and is an enemy of women everywhere; losing your phone inside of a purse. Yes, this is only a temporary loss, but it can be a frustrating one nonetheless especially if it leads to the stressful thought that the phone is gone. More often than not it is just sitting in the wrong compartment, so the estimated chance of recovery stands between 95-100%.

Also amongst the 10 top worst places to lose your phone is in a restaurant/bar, leaving it on the roof of your car, in a changing room, while you are going through airport security, school, a bus or subway, an airplane and a taxi. What would all of you guess was tops on the list? The pool is the absolute worst place to lose your phone. Many people have been tossed in a pool or cannon-balled without realizing their phone was still in their pocket. The chance of recovering the submerged device is higher than some others, it stands in the 50-75% range, but what makes this the worst place is the fact that the chances of your phone working the same are slim. The estimated chance of the phone working again maxes out at 5%. So essentially you are hit with the double whammy.

Now why would these folks compile of this information for us? Well, the answer is simple; 54% of all smartphone users do not password protect their device. In the event that it is lost or stolen (assuming it hasn’t drowned in a pool), whoever gets their hands on it may have access to private information such as log-in credentials and maybe even credit card numbers. It is recommended that you password protect your phone, and utilize a mobile security app such as Lookout. An app like this will allow you to track down a phone if you happen to misplace it. If for whatever reason you cannot locate it, you can remotely lock or even fully wipe the device from a computer or somebody else’s smartphone.

They estimate that 36% of people call their operator first, which more times than not does not help in tracking down the lost phone. Most of the time, a lost phone will just lead to a deductible if you have insurance on your plan. So what’s the moral of the story? Keep your phone close, don’t go jumping into pools without checking your pockets first and most of all download an app that will help you find it or at least keep your personal information away from prying eyes.

source: Lookout via Mashable

9 Comments
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posted on 19 Jul 2011, 10:49

1. CC (unregistered)


more and more protection plans allow for GPS tracking from companies like Asurion, also lookout is a great app, but if the phone is dead or off, good luck! Buy insurance for replacement!

posted on 19 Jul 2011, 10:55 3

2. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


this just reminds us that if you have an expencive smartphone and dont have insurance, you are a FOOL. Its worth every penny you pay the moment u lose/break your phone.

posted on 19 Jul 2011, 13:01 1

6. ayephoner (Posts: 837; Member since: 09 Jun 2009)


meh. the cost per month is $6-10, then you have a $50+ deductible. you're looking at spending $100-200 (at least) on your replacement device when all is said and done. you can easily find a droid x or something similar for that price on craigslist for the same money.

never had insurance, never will...

posted on 19 Jul 2011, 14:16

8. deezy (Posts: 46; Member since: 10 Feb 2011)


There's 3rd party providers that offer cheaper insurance and they aren't as strict as asurion. Only downside is most require the premium to be paid up front. I've got phones from craigslist with "clean esn" but they're still active on other lines so I couldn't activate them. They were factory wiped too so I couldn't find who's number it belonged to.

posted on 20 Jul 2011, 11:19

9. lemoney (unregistered)


Ayephoner, you do realize that without insurance your iPhone will cost you $700 to replace? Insurance is definitely worth it, and you're stupid if you really think you will find another phone in good condition from some fat stranger online. Even if by chance you get a phone that isn't locked or already in use, you have zero warranty if something goes wrong with it and therefore might need to spend even more money to get another second hand device.

Insurance is all the same, whether it's for your car or your health, or a phone. You pay a monthly premium, and pay a deductible. This is nothing new.

posted on 19 Jul 2011, 11:11

3. GALAXY-S (Posts: 701; Member since: 07 Jun 2011)


i think ive found like 4 different phone here in phoenix in the past 2 years, some blackberries and even a 2 day old evo 4g at one point.. the owners havnt even bothered to call the cell phone??

posted on 19 Jul 2011, 11:35

4. Tmachaveli (Posts: 425; Member since: 01 Apr 2011)


Download lookout for your android best app out there and it works

posted on 19 Jul 2011, 12:56

5. Paden (Posts: 262; Member since: 07 Jul 2011)


Lookout for all Android devices and Find My iPhone for iOS devices.

posted on 19 Jul 2011, 13:51

7. Owlet (Posts: 446; Member since: 21 Feb 2011)


I'm using SeekDroid. Works good.

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