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19% of Smartphone Users Drop Phones In the Toilet



File this under, why never to shake hands with strangers. According to a survey 39% of smartphone users take their phone into the restroom and an astonishing 19% have dropped their phone into the toilet.

That’s right, one in five people you meet today, and possibly shake their hands, are using a smartphone which has spent time in a toilet. Ready for some hand sanitizer?

Stall surfing isn’t new, and it’s no the craziest place people are using their smartphones, but the fact that 19% of these users can’t hold on to their phone while taking care of business is a bit sad, and disgusting. Sure, you can get a replacement device, but why would you when you can just grab your phone like this guy.

If you do drop your phone in the toilet, you should look into a emergency smartphone kit, which will suck the toilet water right out of your smartphone, up to 5 times with one kit.

The news comes from a survey by Plaxo, commissioned by Google, also found that we are using our smartphones for mobile shopping and looking up ads we saw somewhere else. The toilet isn’t the only place we love to use our smartphones while doing other things, one-third of smartphone owners use their smartphone while watching TV, but that’s not surprising.

Other interesting findings include confirmation that we are actually paying attention to ads on our smartphone. Smartphone owners are also savvy shoppers;

  • 79% of smartphone consumers use their phones to help with shopping, from comparing prices, finding more product info to locating a retailer
  • 74% of smartphone shoppers make a purchase, whether online, in-store, or on their phones
  • 70% use their smartphones while in the store, reflecting varied purchase paths that often begin online or on their phones and brings consumers to the store

This is exactly how I shop. I can’t remember the last big purchase I made without looking up reviews on Retrevo, comparing local prices and stock on Milo and searching for online price comparisons on Google. If you aren’t using your smartphone to shop, I guarantee you’re paying too much.

We are also big on looking up local info on the go. The survey found that 95% of smartphone users have looked for local information and 88% of those have taken action within a day. Lower numbers have contacted or visited a local business, based on the information they found. If I had to guess, this is because way too many businesses can’t be bothered to put their hours, address and phone number in an easy to find location for mobile devices.



  1. Mary Beers Tatarka

    07/22/2011 at 3:49 pm

    Jan you aren’t alone lol

  2. Anonymous

    07/22/2011 at 3:49 pm

    Fujitsu is releasing a waterproof Windows Phone 7 smartphone and waterproof phones are common in Japan. I wonder why more phones are not made waterproof…so you can surf in the shower without a problem.

  3. Preston Smalley

    07/22/2011 at 6:52 pm

    Thanks Josh for sharing this piece on @plaxo:twitter ‘s recent mobile trends study. The Google study you mentioned is a separate effort that they drove in April 2011 (amazing findings by the way). Our study for Plaxo was run using a MarketTools US panel and administered by Zoomerang. For more info on the study and our methodology goto:

  4. Anonymous

    07/22/2011 at 11:17 pm

    Too funny!

  5. Christopher Hickie

    07/23/2011 at 12:47 am

    Well, I guess for a lot of folks there phone may literally be a piece of crap.

  6. Mendel Bloch

    08/01/2011 at 6:58 pm

    I have come close to dropping my phone into the toilet many times, but not in the way that the article suggests. I keep the phone in my shirt pocket, and if I lean over too far when I flush, it falls out. So far it has landed on the floor or on my shoe, but it has come perilously close to the bowl on several occasions.

  7. the phonesitter (@thephonesitter)

    02/21/2014 at 8:33 am

    I know this is an older article, but I recently had this happen and decided to come up with a product to help prevent this! Should have our prototype in a few days!

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