Retailers list rumored specs and use mock images to entice buyers to make a preorder deposit
"The iPhone 5 will have a larger, clearer screen and 4G internet!" or so the rumors say. Fact is, until Apple announces the new iPhone, we don't really know if anything we've heard is real. And while it's widely believed that the phone will be announced in September or October, we still have no idea when it will be available exactly. In spite of that, Chinese online marketplace Taobao already lists the iPhone 5 — you can even preorder one right now.
Taobao is a portal where electronics retailers can clear out their inventories. A recent Reuters report details how these retailers are currently using the site to find buyers willing to pony up cash for a phone that hasn't even been officially announced yet. Some sellers are asking roughly $160 worth of deposit, but there are those who actually expect customers to pay approximately $1,100 or the full price of an unlocked iPhone up front, which is hilarious considering Apple has yet to divulge the phone's pricing and details.
According to the retailers Reuters talked to, they plan to buy stacks of iPhone 5 from the United States or from Hong Kong and then bring them to mainland China. That, of course, doesn't guarantee that the iPhone 5 units to be sold on Taobao will be authentic. China, as you may know by now, has a thriving market for counterfeit goods. The Reuters report didn't mention whether the fake Apple Store disguised as a fake Android Store is also taking preorders for the next iPhone.
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