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Dude, where's your phone? Top common places to lose your phone


Published onMarch 23, 2012

Did you hear that story about a guy who walks into a bar with a prototype of the world’s most sought-after smartphone and leaves the bar without it, after probably (we dare say) getting intoxicated? Yeah, go ahead and scoff, but if statistics are to be believed, this is a very common occurrence and one that can easily happen to any of us. This is especially the case if you live in in London, where the pub is the number one place where people lose their phones. How did we know?

We draw this conclusion based on the statistics released by Lookout Mobile Security, a software company that helps folks from across the world locate misplaced or stolen phones.  In case you’re wondering about the methodology, the study used the Foursquare API to determine which venue type was closest to the lost phone’s location. So, where exactly did most people from various countries and cities lost their phones in 2011?

Lookout tracked 15 million global users in 2011, showing that coffee shops and restaurants seem to be the two most common places where people lose their phones. Another common place for people to lose their phones is at the office, as it can be seen in Delhi, Barcelona, London, Paris and San Francisco.

Of course, there are some city-specific oddities. Apparently, Korean people have the tendency to lose their phones in cemeteries. You thought those freaky ghost movies that the country has exported over the last decade were fiction? Think again. And what exactly is that men’s store listed in Tokyo at number six? We don’t even want to know what those guys were doing in the first place to lose sight of their phones. Other interesting top 10 entries are military base in Moscow, tech startup in Barcelona, New Delhi, and San Francisco (where else?) and soccer field in Jakarta.

Inhabitants in Seattle, Philadelphia, Manchester, Amsterdam, Prague, Delhi, and Jakarta tend to lose their phones twice a year. On the other hand, Singaporeans and Chicagoans only lose their phones once every three years. But they are no match compared to those who live in Austin and Seoul, as they only lose their phones once every four years. How do you guys do it?

All in all, Lookout says it helped locate 9 million phones last year, which equals to 24,567 phones a day, 1,027 phones every hour, 17 phones a minute, and 1 phone every 3.5 seconds. By the time you finished reading this article, 51 lost phones would’ve been reunited with their lawful owners.

I haven’t lost a smartphone for years (what a way to jinx it now), but that’s partly due to the fact that it’s chained to my belt now (not really). What’s your experience? Check out the list below so you can be extra careful when visiting similar establishments in the future.


Office, Apartment building, Restaurant, Tech startup, Coffee shop, Bank, Department store, Burger joint, Train station, Lounge

Lounge, Restaurant, Office, Diner, Hospital, Soccer field, Asian restaurant, School, Dentist, Mosque

Historic site, Restaurant, Convenience store, Park, Ramen house, Hotel, Men’s store, Office, Electronic store, Train station

Martial Arts Dojo, Baseball field, Cemetery, Coffee shop, Restaurant, Arcade, Bank, School, Beer garden, Soup place

Coffee shop, Church, Automotive shop, Office, Doctor’s office, Bus line, Great outdoors, Park, School, Gas station


Office, Ice cream shop, Great outdoors, Restaurant, Doctor’s office, Light rail, Tech startup, Hotel, Bakery, Bar

Apartment building, Church, Café, Sushi restaurant, Salon or barbershop, Office, Drugstore or pharmacy, Pool, Great outdoors

Pub, Office, Grocery or supermarket, Bus line, Chinese restaurant, Great outdoors, Park, Indian restaurant, Fast food restaurant, Train station

Automotive shop, Military base, Department store, Gas station, Apartment building, Parking, Toy or game store, Food court, Office mall

Hotel, Office, Playground, Electronic store, Bar, French restaurant, High school, Falafel restaurant, Gym, Coffee shop

Gas station, Church, Office, Restaurant, Market, Bus station, Bar, Automotive shop, Hospital, Historic site

San Francisco

Coffee shop, Office, Drugstore or pharmacy, Bank, Hotel, Pizza place, Fast food restaurant, Grocery or supermarket, Kids store, Tech startup

Fast food restaurant, Gas station, Grocery or supermarket, Coffee shop, Video store, American restaurant, Department store, Automotive shop, Pizza place, Deli

Coffee shop, Drugstore or pharmacy, Church, Gas station or garage, Fast food restaurant, Grocery or supermarket, Video store, Donut shop, Sandwich place, Library

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