[citation][nom]twelch82[/nom]I think the way it would be likely to work is that when you first activate your new phone, the carrier would collect the serial number - it has to be accessible through software for them to even be able to block a stolen phone. Then, if your phone gets stolen, they already know what the serial number for it was, so that serial number would be moved into the database of inoperable serial numbers.The best thieves may find a way to change the serial numbers, but it would probably be an effective deterrent for the common thief.[/citation]
Well this serial number is hardcoded in hardware. On most phones you can check it out by dialing *#06#. Every phone has it. And you got the wrong impression that carriers would block the phone, no they just block service to the phone which means you won't get signal on stolen phone.
This system will discourage the thieves only up to some extent because these stolen phones still be fully operable outside US.
New system will emerge for thieves, phones stolen in US will be exported to Canada and phones stolen in canada will be exported to US.