Clare Kerrigan, 38, had given up hope of ever finding her missing iPhone 5c after losing it in a pub in the West Midlands in August.
But she received an email from Apple on Monday, October 27, saying her phone had been traced - 5,975 miles away in a nursery in the city of Shenzhen, in the Guangdong region north of Hong Kong.
Clare said that when she first noticed her phone was missing, she used the Find My iPhone app to try and relocate it, but it couldn't locate her phone as it had been switched off.
Believing that her old phone was gone for good, Clare wiped it and purchased a new handset.
But after receiving the message from Apple on Monday, Clare had another look at the Find My iPhone app, and remarkably she can now see her phone moving around the Chinese city and can even tell when the new owner is playing music on it.
Clare - who has two children - Elizabeth, six, and Michael, three, believes her iPhone was shipped to China to be sold on the black market. She says she has been reassured by Apple that despite being switched on again, it can't be reactivated.
"I spoke to Apple and the man said somebody has probably bought it online but the handset is useless because it is locked," she said.
"He put my mind at rest and said there is no way it can be reactivated because I was worried about my personal details on there if it was.
"He laughed and said if it was him he would just watch it. It hasn't moved too far since Monday."
Clare has found a novel way of getting her own back on her phone's new owner.
She added: "If I press a button on the app then I can make the phone make a noise in China which is funny."
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