Your Lost Phone Probably Is at a Coffee Shop or Restaurant, or: More Reasons to Stop Tweeting and Just Eat

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Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 8:30 AM
click to enlarge An iPhone at the table - RAITANK/FLICKR

If you've misplaced your cellphone, chances are, you probably lost it the same way you lost your retainers in the 9th grade: sometime during lunch, because you were distracted and forgot to take it with you before you went back to fourth period. Based on Lookout Inc.'s study of lost phones, old bad habits die hard: After analyzing its 2011 data from the 15 million people who used its application to locate their lost cellphones, the mobile security firm found that people most often lose their phones in coffee shops, followed by bars, offices and restaurants.

The company also found that more cellphones were lost in Philadelphia than anywhere else in the United States, followed by Seattle, Oakland, Long Beach and Newark. Los Angeles ranked 27th.

Lookout zeroed in on the data for a few cities in the United States and internationally, creating nifty interactive maps to show its findings. In Philadelphia, phones often were left behind in pizza shops. In San Francisco, coffee shops were the most common venues for lost phones. Internationally, those in London most often misplaced their phones in the pub; in Cologne, phones could be traced to vegetarian or vegan restaurants; and in Tokyo, owners lost their phones while visiting "historic sites" and ramen joints, natch.

All of which is a helpful reminder to hang on to your precious phones after Instagramming, Tweeting, Facebooking, etc., your meals at the dinner table. Lest we forget, one of the most famous lost phones of all time, a prototype of Apple's iPhone 4, was left by an Apple software engineer in -- where else? -- a bar in Redwood City.

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