E-commerce platforms accepting pre-orders for iPhone 5


Apple’s next-generation iPhone has not even been released yet, neither the official release date was publicly announced by the company. However, sellers on Taobao, China’s largest e-commerce platform, are already accepting pre-orders, complete with mock-up pictures and purported technical specifications. Have a look at this video rendering of the iPhone 5:

The eagerly anticipated iPhone 5 is expected to be released sometime in the third quarter of this year. Earlier, industry sources have said the iPhone 5 would have a bigger screen than previous models. Taiwanese media reported the phone’s voice recognition software, Siri, would have more powerful functions.

Sellers on Taobao, a unit of Alibaba Group, are accepting orders for the iPhone 5. In some cases they ask for a deposit of 1,000 yuan ($160) for the new device or a full payment upfront, at a cool 6,999 yuan ($1,100).

Taobao sellers are maybe hoping to buy the iPhone 5 in Hong Kong and then bring it to mainland China. Apple products are often available in Hong Kong before they are released elsewhere. However, at this point nobody could  promise a specific delivery time.

The pre-order activity comes despite the mystery around the iPhone 5 and highlights the intense demand for new Apple products in China.

Apple has not confirmed the specifications, details or price of the next generation iPhone, but the Internet rumor mill has been in overdrive. Photo renderings and pictures of iPhone 5 engineering samples poped up recently, along endless speculations on its technical specifications and functions.

Hard-shell cases and soft silicone cases for the iPhone 5 are already available on Alibaba.com, offered by sellers also from China. The majority of cases indicate an elongated iPhone 5 with some showing an earphone jack located at the bottom.  Although it is hard to know whether these cases reflect the real deal, the sellers have been right before.

Demand for Apple products in China is so high that many consumers buy smuggled goods in order get them before the official China release.

Apple has five stores in mainland China and plans to open flagship stores in the major Chinese cities of Chengdu and Shenzhen.


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