Desperate to be one of the unreleased Apple iPhone 5's first owners? Well, with the help of Chinese website, Taobao, a subsidiary of the Alibaba group, you can preorder one now. With a deposit of 1,000 yuan, the equivalent of about $160, you can reserve your place in line, for the non-existant, and currently unannounced new phone. Some sellers are even already demanding full payment for the phone that isn't even on the market yet.
The iPhone is anticipated to be released sometime between August and October this year, though Apple has been hush-hush about it. Mock-up images and spec lists are featured in some of the listings, even though Apple hasn't released any of their own yet. Some pictures show a larger display and a smaller dock connector amongst other changes. When Reuter's spoke with a Taobao seller, they claimed that they planned to purchase the iPhone 5 in the U.S. or Hong Kong then transport it to mainland China since Apple products are usually available in Hong Kong before being released on the mainland.
China's demand for Apple products is in high-gear, with this pre-order craze being an example of the increasing request for Apple products in China. "Demand is high. Yesterday someone just bought two phones. Altogether we have about two dozen orders," said one seller on Taobao who went by the nickname Xiaoyu, according to Reuters.
Apple's policy strictly prohibits the purchase of Apple products for resale and despite this policy, reselling is rampant in the U.S. and around the world. "The iPhone 5 is going to be one of the biggest consumer events we've ever seen in our lifetime."Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney said to Wired.
Currently, Apple has five stores in mainland China with plans to open flagships stores in Shenzhen and Chendu.