Popular security app maker Lookout has struck a deal with AT&T to have its software shipped in all future Android phones and tablets sold by the carrier. Lookout’s software provides a suite of protection services, from lost-phone location to Lock Cam, a neat feature that emails you a photo of anyone trying to get past your phone’s lock screen.
Normally pre-installed apps – known as bloatware – are an unwelcome addition to carrier-sold devices. They use up memory and processing resources, are difficult to shut off and often impossible to uninstall. But considering the growing number of security threats targeting Android devices, Lookout could get a much warmer reception from AT&T’s customers.
The deal is really a distribution and billing deal, not a carrier service from AT&T. Android users will have the same access to Lookout’s basic services as anyone who downloads the app from Google Play. But if they do wind up subscribing to Lookout’s premium services – which includes safe browsing, phone lockdown and wipe, and additional privacy protection features — the $3-a-month fee will be conveniently tacked onto their AT&T bills.
With the AT&T deal, Lookout now has deals with all four of the nationwide U.S. carriers. Its success in the crowded mobile threat protection space has also attracted the interest of both the telecom industry and Silicon Valley. Last month the company raised a $55 million round led by Deutsche Telekom, Qualcomm, Peter Thiel’s Mithril Capital Management and Greylock Partners.