Cell phone and mobile technology is changing so rapidly that there is a broad opportunity for both reuse and recovery of these devices, creating substantial financial benefit for investment recovery managers. With an average life span of just 18 months in the U.S., and more than 100 million phones turned over each year, cellular and mobile device technology is another fine opportunity for an IR professional to integrate into their technology recovery program. Like any IR opportunity, there are multiple factors to consider when implementing a cell phone program. Below are some vendor/ partner attributes to consider. Taking these into account will help improve the value received and (perhaps equally important) mitigate environmental and data privacy risks. (1) Collection Options: While many vendors offer collection boxes or promote high return value, it is important to consider having a single point of contact to collect within your organization, facilitating the tracking of material being sent for recovery. Some organizations use interoffice mail with a designated mail stop for collecting mobile devices and reusing copier boxes to send mobile devices to their vendor. Secure options, like lockable hardened collection containers, can ensure that iPhones, Blackberrys and other data-rich devices are secured prior to processing. Remember, mobile devices contain email, documents and other data that is regulated just the same as data found on computers! (2) Sorting and Testing: Mobile devices come from a variety of vendors, have a variety of features and correspondingly have different values. It is important to work with an organization that has the diagnostic and repair capabilities to test different types of technologies. (3) Electronics Recycling: The same as with any other electronics recycling and recovery, working with environmentally compliant vendors with R2/RIOS or ISO 14001 certifications is important to help mitigate environmental regulatory risks and should be a requirement of your program. The relatively high amount of precious metal content in cell phones is an advantage to recycling even defective phones and often will be performed at a zero net cost to your recycling efforts. (4) Data Security: With the emergence of smart phone technology, Blackberry, iPhone, Android and Microsoft mobile devices all have the capability to store data in nonvolatile solid state device (SSD) memory. A simple “factory reset” does not guarantee that sensitive data will be eradicated from these devices, as carriers may also hold some data in their networks. Selecting vendors that employ specialized technologies to sanitize mobile devices is a must. Dag Adamson, LifeSpan Technology Recycling, and Jack Johnson, HOBI, presented a session on gaining maximum investment recovery from wireless electronics at the Scottsdale Investment Recovery conference in May. Special emphasis was placed on steps to take to avoid the risk of data breach. (5) Multi-channel Remarketing: While some vendors merely collect phones only to forward them to someone else for processing, it is important to understand how your vendors handle their remarketing efforts in order to optimize value for the organization or its designated charity. Organizations that perform testing, remanufacturing, repair and remarketing to OEMs, dealers and to end users can help maximize the investment recovery value. Rather than donating to some anonymous charity, collecting proceeds from a cell phone vendor and then making a local financial donation is growing in appeal. SUMMARY: Organizations have become increasingly more reliant on wireless and mobile technologies. IR professionals have a growing opportunity to provide additional value to their organizations by recovering value from unwanted or expired cell phones and mobile devices. But they also have a responsibility to make sure that these devices have been recycled or refurbished and remarketed in a manner that securely safeguards the vast amount of data held on these devices.