Losing my iPhone

I can no longer be smug about never having lost or left anything behind whilst travelling. A couple of hours after lunch with friends at a cafe in Oslo yesterday I realised I didn’t have my iPhone on me. Normally when this happens I panic for a bit, dig around in my bag and eventually find it in a place other than were I usually put it. The last time this happened it turned out I’d actually left it at our accommodation (which we figured out by using the Find My iPhone app on Alex’s mobile). This time it really was gone.

We tried using Find My iPhone, but it couldn’t detect it. (This only works if both phones have an internet connection, but I had actually connected to the cafe’s wifi while I was there so if it was still there it should have been detected.)

We tried calling it, but it was turned off. (It was on with almost a full battery when I last used it.)

We tried calling the cafe, but no one had handed it in and they couldn’t find it where we were sitting. (Which was a separate floor with hardly any people on it because we were there hours after the lunch time rush.)

It is possible I put it in my pocket when we left the cafe and it got nicked, but I never put anything in my pockets (for that reason) so it’s unlikely.

It is possible I automatically put it back in my bag and it was stolen from there, but highly unlikely as I had my jacket and arm over my bag throughout the rest of the afternoon, and if someone had gotten past both of those without my notice they would still have had to open a flap, open a zip, and move my camera and wallet out the way to get to my phone. (In which case they probably would have just taken one of those then gotten out of there.)

Conclusion: I must have put it on my lap or the seat next to me (I don’t remember seeing anything on the table when we left), just got up without thinking and left it behind, then someone found it and stole it to sell rather than hand it in.

Urrggghhh, cue feeling like an idiot.

Actually, while it’s a real shame and quite an inconvenience, of all the things I could have lost while travelling it’s probably the least devastating. It would have much been worse if I’d lost my wallet (although I don’t keep all my bank cards in it), my camera (as neither of us had downloaded any photos from the last couple of days in Norway yet), or WORST of all, my passport with all my upcoming travel visas in it. I am really disappointed (and annoyed with myself) but appreciate that it could have been much worse (I would rather have lost it the way I did than have been mugged, for example).


  • The phone was only a 3GS and about 3 years old – it would have been much more painful if it was a brand new phone (especially if I was still paying it off!)
  • It was locked with a passcode so whoever has it now won’t be able to access any of my personal information (I’m going to change all my account passwords anyway, just to be on the safe side)
  • It had prepaid a SIM so even if they did get pass the code they couldn’t run up a high bill (I’ve blocked the SIM card anyway though)
  • I don’t mind losing the number because I was going to get a new one on our return to Australia in a few months anyway
  • Just the day before I downloaded a new (to me) to do list app called Astrid and copied over all my tasks from the app I used to use, and Astrid syncs with an online interface, so in the meantime I still have my to do list (PHEW!)
  • I use Google for my contacts and calendar and they were just synced to my phone, so I haven’t lost any of that information either
  • I’m going to see if I can get a cheap second-hand 3GS as a replacement (until I eventually upgrade to the latest model next year) and I should be able to restore everything to that from my iCloud back up
  • Depending on price, I might even be able to get a secondhand iPhone 4, which would mean a bonus upgrade out of this misfortune
  • We stayed with very lovely and generous friends in Norway who not only put us up for 6 nights but cooked for us most nights as well which saved us an absolute truckload of money, so even if I have to buy a new phone I’ll probably still come out ahead

Unfortunately, the loss is not covered by my travel insurance because while I do think it was stolen in the end, it was my negligence that caused it to happen and my policy doesn’t cover carelessness. :P My one consolation is that whoever tries to sell it on hopefully won’t get much money for it: it was only a 3GS and the iPhone 5 is coming out soon which will devalue the 3GS even more, and the back cover was slightly cracked as well. So HAHA, sucker! They probably won’t even make enough money from it to buy a pint of Norwegian beer. :P (Although that kind of make it slightly more annoying because they might as well just have handed it in in that case.)

So, what happens when something you’ve depended on for the last 3 years disappears? The things I miss the most are:

  • (My to do list app would have been number one – and probably had me in a quite a panic – if not for the extremely fortuitous Astrid back up less than 24 hours before the loss)
  • My Secrets: a password protected app that I didn’t use very often but it held all my PIN and internet banking numbers (just in a random list, not linked to card numbers or even bank names) – it just means that because I can’t remember them all I can’t log into some of my accounts now and I might not be able to use my Australian bank card when I need to (I don’t remember the PIN because I haven’t needed it for nearly 2 years), but I have some ideas about how to get around this
  • Access to downloaded emails which included all our travel arrangements (but luckily Alex has a copy of most of these too)
  • Loss of communication (I can’t contact Alex if we get separated)
  • Calculator (funnily enough – of all things!)

(Obviously I realise that any mobile phone, especially an iPhone, is a luxury that a lot of people can’t afford and I could have it so much worse – I still have my health, all my limbs, etc… but it’s still a pain the arse.)

So, yes. I’m off to investigate second-hand iPhones and prepaid Swedish SIM cards.

2 thoughts on “Losing my iPhone

  1. Pingback: My experience with Android | dinosaurs can't knit

  2. Pingback: How to reduce iPhone 5 battery and data leakage | dinosaurs can't knit


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