Time to hang up on your bestie and sanitize that toilet seat, err, Apple iPhone.
“You just got to understand how filthy and disgusting your iPhone is. I mean, your phones are really, really dirty. Like not just a bit dirtier than the toilet seat, but 10 to 20 times dirtier than a toilet seat. How many people really use their phones while they’re sitting in the bathroom and on the toilet, and that’s kind of part of the issue. Half of phones that were tested by a number of different studies tested positive for fecal matter on the phone. Phones are really, really dirty,” said veteran tech investor and the CEO of disinfecting firm Vioguard Chris Barrow on Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade.
The executive may not be far off the mark on iPhone cleanliness, or lack there of.
Out of 1,200 people VitalVio polled in a 2019 survey, 88% said they use their smartphone while in the bathroom. Tests of mobile devices revealed that phones may boast what’s referred to as bacteria such as E. coli, according to the survey. Alarmingly, nearly 25% of those surveyed said they have never wiped down or cleaned their phone. More than one in four men conceded they have never cleaned their phone, compared to one in five women.
Barrow (also the founder of venture capital firm Imagen Capital Partners) is an expert on the dirtiness of smartphones, which are only becoming potentially more lethal in the age of COVID-19.
Vioguard sells machines to businesses that have ultra-violet technology designed to blast away germs. The machines — which could cost as much as $2,000 — have a compartment for your various tech devices. You put them in, shut the door and so begins the disinfectant process. Barrow claims his products are more effective at killing bacteria than traditional disinfecting wipes.
Imagen originally invested $5 million into Vioguard in January 2017. Barrow jumped into the additional role as Viogard CEO soon thereafter. He tells Yahoo Finance the business had been growing steadily by 25% to 30% annually amid strong demand at hospitals. Since the pandemic, Barrow says sales have surged 1,000% due to business within new sectors such as hotels and retailers.
“Hospitals have known for years that UVC technology works very effectively. We’ve been selling this product at hospitals for a long time, and hospitals love the technology. They know it works. What’s happening now is people are recognizing that’s the most effective way to kill and disinfect your phone in non-medical settings as well,” Barrow added.