Millions of devices are stolen throughout all stages of the device lifecycle — from shipments (5 to 25 percent) to in-store theft and robberies (increasing at a rapid rate of 200 percent year-over-year).
In the U.S. alone, GSMA estimates that over 4 million devices a year are trafficked, costing upwards of $900 million. And that estimate is just for prepaid devices. Include postpaid and the impact is far larger. This little-talked about problem is not just costing the carriers. Subscribers are also taking a hit. Verizon just recently reported that about 7,000 customers are directly impacted by this problem every month.