Regardless the fact that Apple hast not even announced, nor released its next-generation iPhone, an opportunist e-commerce platform in China has already started accepting pre-orders for an iPhone 5 – as they call it. The offer is full of mock-up pictures and fictional specs of the device.
Being widely expected to be released sometime this fall, Apple strongly keeps its upcoming device in secret. As usual, numerous “unidentified sources close to the matter” have expressed their opinions on what the device may look like, majority of them claiming the iPhone 5 to come with a larger screen and augmented voice recognition software, Siri. The pre-order movement comes regardless the mystery around the iPhone 5 and once more confirms the intense demand for new Apple products in China.
It seems that Chinese opportunist sellers have decided to take advantage of the fact that Apple products are often available in Hong Kong before they are released on the mainland, and are asking for a deposit of ¥1,000, that equals about $160, for the new iPhone pre-orders. One seller is even asking for a direct full payment, summing up to as much as ¥6,999 (~ $1,100).
With the delivery date unspecified, the sellers plan to buy the iPhone 5 in Hong Kong or the United States and then bring it to mainland China. About two dozen pre-orders have already been made so far, and the sellers expect the demand to go even higher. However, there is a limit on the quantity of iPhones the sellers are allowed to bring from overseas, making it harder for sellers to maximize their revenues.
Additionally, some hard-shell and soft silicone cases for the iPhone 5 are also being offered on the business-to-consumer platform of Alibaba Group, majority of which indicate the concept device to be elongated, with an earphone jack located at the bottom of the phone. The sellers guarantee the accuracy of their products, based on the dimensions the company's boss got from some “certain channels". Despite the fact that it is hard to know whether the suggested products reflect the real deal or not, Alibaba sellers have previously offered cases for the yet-to-be-launch iPad 2, which appeared to be quite accurately fitting the rear-facing camera of the tablet, introduced later.
With its new iPad to be launched in China on July 20th, about 3 months later the official introduction, it does seem that Chinese Apple fans do suffer from the late supply. Along with the five Apple stores in mainland China, government officials say the company is planning to open two additional flagship stores Chengdu and Shenzhen - the major Chinese cities.
Apple has not yet responded on the matter, so there is no single official word on what the pre-production pre-orders may lead to. Stay tuned and track our updates not to miss any important notice about the matter. By then, you'd probably like to check the unusual iPhone 5 that hit China earlier.