Close to 100,000 mobile phones mysteriously vanish in London each year, a survey published today has claimed.
Research sponsored by mobile security firm Pointsec suggests that 63,135 handsets were left in the back of London taxis in the past six months, based on interviews with drivers, along with 5,838 pocket PCs and 4,973 laptops.
However, in a one-year period transport officials reported that barely 10,000 mobiles had been handed in across London.
"I think that sounds a little high," a spokesman for Transport for London told vnunet.com.
"From April 2003 to March 2004 10,614 mobiles were handed in to the Lost Property Office across the entire London transport network, including London Underground and DLR as well as taxis."
The mystery of these missing mobiles would appear to come from the fact that the study results were extrapolated from interviews with 113 taxi drivers in London.
Similar interviews conducted in other countries found that Britons topped the world in losing their mobiles in taxis, although one Chicago taxi driver claimed to have had 40 pocket PCs left in his cab in the past month.
"There does seem to be fewer handed in [to London Transport lost property] if that's the case," said Magnus Ahlberg, managing director of Pointsec.
"But with the new smartphones coming on to the market you can download documents direct to the phone. Often it's the executives using these phones, so the information is more valuable."
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