Orange invests in mobile security firm Lookout, will bundle app on select Android devices from “early 2013”

Orange invests in mobile security firm Lookout, will bundle app on select Android devices from “early ...

Mobile security firm Lookout has secured another big mobile operator partnership, today announcing its deal with France Telecom-owned Orange, which has also made a “strategic investment” in the company via its Orange & Publicis strategic venture capital initiative managed by Iris Capital.

As part of the deal, Lookout’s security app will be preloaded onto Android devices sold by the operator in the UK, France, Slovakia and Spain from “early 2013,” with plans to expand its offering to more markets and on a wider range of phones throughout the course of the next year.

The Orange tie-up will also ‘benefit’ T-Mobile and EE customers (it’s still up for debate whether Android security apps are worth installing, let alone whether they should be preloaded), ensuring Lookout has a presence on Google-powered devices sold by the biggest operator in the UK (based on total numbers).

Lookout says its app will protect millions of Orange customers from malware, data loss, privacy threats, phone loss or theft. In 2011, it notes that it helped locate “more than €5.5m in lost phones every day,” a figure that it says continues to increase. Orange says it will dedicate resources to helping customers understand how to get the most out of the new app, protecting both their devices and themselves.

Lookout already has Deutsche Telekom-owned T-Mobile USA under its wing, signing a deal back in October to include a new security app called Automatic App Security on LG Optimus L9 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 units sold in the US. Next year, “most Android T-Mobile devices” are set to be preloaded with the security app for “securing smartphones and tablets right out of the box for free.”

For Orange, it’s not just another bundled app, it has money riding on it. Paul-François Fournier, Executive Vice President of Orange Technocentre, commented on both the app deal and the investment, noting:

“It is critical we help protect our customers, and this partnership with Lookout allows us to provide additional protection for our customers without them having to take any action, or become experts on mobile security.”

“By investing in Lookout we are ensuring that we will continue to help keep our customers safe in the future, and that the Orange & Publicis fund managed by Iris Capital is supporting a company that is positioned to become a global leader in the digital economy.”

Orange will push Lookout installations alongside its own customer support, backup & restore services and apps, ensuring customers have the tools to stop them from losing their phone or tablet, but also to help them should they do so.

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