More than half UK population have lost their mobile phones

Staff Reporter
September 22, 2023

More than half the UK population has lost at least one phone with an average cost of £750 per loss according to uSwitch

The Uswitch mobiles study surveyed over 2,000 UK mobile phone users to reveal how often people are misplacing their mobile phones, as well as how much these losses have cost them. 

But where is the most common place to lose your phone? And which age group are most likely to lose their phone?

  • People aged 25-35 are the most likely to lose a mobile phone, with 4 in 5 (78%) reporting to have lost more than one device. 

  • On the other hand, People over 65 are the least likely to lose a mobile phone, with 7 in 10 (68%) claiming to have never lost a handset. 

  • 56 per cent of people reported they have lost or had at least one mobile phone stolen. With 18% of those surveyed admitting to having misplaced multiple handsets. It is likely that this figure will be higher for London residents, where the Metropolitan Police warned that mobile phone theft is on the rise.

  • Public transport is the most likely location to lose a mobile phone in the UK. Of those who have lost a phone or had one stolen 35 per cent reported that it happened on public transport.

    One huge benefit of today’s smartphone technology is the ability to track your phone

How to protect yourself against losing a handset:

Try to locate your phone – Call your number from another phone, in case you get lucky and an honest member of the public has found it. Send a text including a contact number for anyone who happens to pick it up at a later date. Try calling any establishments you have visited and the local police station to see if your device has been found

Track your device – One huge benefit of today’s smartphone technology is the ability to track your phone. For iPhone users, you can use Find My iPhone, and for Android, you can use the Android Device Manager to do so. However, to access this service you will need to have set these functions up before your phone goes missing. 

FInd My Phone app can track your iOS device


Report to your network provider – When you lose your mobile phone, you should report it to your network provider immediately. Your provider will be able to deactivate your SIM, preventing anyone else from misusing your number. If you manage to relocate your handset, your provider will also be able to reactivate it for you. 

 Report to the police – If you believe your device to be stolen, it is also important to report the theft to the police. They will require the make and model, serial number and IMEI, MEID or ESN number of your handset. Although you are still unlikely to receive your phone back if stolen, it does provide the necessary documentation to show to your insurer. It also means that if your device is handed in, you will be notified immediately. 

Erase data remotely – Using Android Device Manager or iCloud, you can erase personal data present on your mobile remotely. This helps protect your personal information if your device falls into the wrong hands. You can also unlink your accounts on iPhones using iCloud. 

 Change passwords – It is also worth changing any passwords to accounts you keep logged in on your mobile phone to ensure these cannot be accessed. Important passwords to change include your email, social media accounts, mobile banking, shopping apps and streaming apps”. 

Erase your data remotely

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