It's said there is now a market for "dev-fused" prototype models - stolen from the tech giant's production lines - which are valuable for helping researches discover vulnerabilities.
According to a Motherboard investigation, the "switchboard" phones - have been used to help developed the Cellebrite, which is said to have been used by law enforcement agencies to break into phones.
It's added that the stolen phones were used by researchers to study Apple's own Secure Enclave security coprocessor two years ago.
It means they could possibly expose certain vulnerabilities in the chip which are designed with the direct intention of keeping iPhones secure.
Meanwhile, last month it was rumoured that Apple has been working on iPhones with "bilateral" wireless charging.
Top analyst Ming-Ci Kuo has claimed that the firm's next move could be to start developing smartphones that are able to charge other phones.
This would see them follow in the footsteps of Huawei, who launched the Mate 20 Pro with a reverse charging feature last year.
However, it's not known whether this will be limited to just Apple iPhones or all devices which can be wirelessly charged.
According the report by Kuo, the next generation of Apple AirPods could also feature wireless abilities, meaning they could be powered up using the iPhone.