It's a sad truth, but smartphones get stolen all the time, many never to be seen by their loving owners again. But, especially in the age of tracking apps like Find My iPhone, how come so many disappear completely? Where do they all go? Besides the opportunistic thief, there's organized gangs that actually ship large quantities of them out of the U.S. Jerry Deaven of Homeland Security told The Huffington Post that these organizations are shipping millions of dollars worth of phones out of the country every month:
Deaven told The Huffington Post that such traffickers are responsible for "a tremendous amount of phones being shipped out of the country," adding that "some organizations are shipping a couple million dollars worth of phones per month."
Key target markets are locations such as the Middle East and Asia where the cost of smartphones is vastly different to the United States. By taking carrier subsidies, a new iPhone costs $199 up-front with a contract whereas in Hong Kong they can be sold for the equivalent of $2000. Smartphone theft is an increasing – and sometimes increasingly violent – occurrence, with stolen phones having showed up in "all continents except Antarctica" according to Sprint. It's a pretty in-depth and lengthy post, but worth clearing some time for.
Source: Huffington Post