Chinese Vendors Taking Orders for “iPhone 5” Ahead of Official Release Date
Apple’s next generation iPhone, being called the ‘iPhone 5’ has been rumored to be in the works. In recent weeks, parts of what appears to be the next generation iPhone 5 have appeared online, including a metal back cover which seemed to justify rumors that the next iPhone will have a larger screen and a smaller dock connector.
On Thursday, a report from Reuters mentioned that Chinese vendors have begun to take orders for an ‘iPhone 5’, parts of which may be created entire from speculation with no specs or announcements from Apple.
Sellers on Taobao, a unit of Alibaba Group, are accepting orders for the iPhone 5, in some cases asking for a deposit of 1,000 yuan ($160) for the new phone. One seller, “Dahai99888”, who started accepting pre-orders this week, is asking for full payment upfront, at a cool 6,999 yuan ($1,100).
Taobao sellers that Reuters spoke with said they planned to buy the iPhone 5 in Hong Kong or the United States and then bring it to mainland China. Apple products are often available in Hong Kong before they are released on the mainland.
Chinese vendors often create models, and prototype devices based on rumors on the web of what an upcoming Apple product may look like. The report also focuses on similar vendors selling cases for the purported ‘iPhone 5’, which may also have been created based on speculation. Case vendors have been wrong in the past about iPhone’s design, more specifically the rumored tapered design.
Images of the claimed next generation iPhone 5 posted by KitGuru show iPhone design consistent with rumors on the web, including the elongated body, smaller dock connector, new speaker grill, and a headphone jack located at the bottom. Although the photos may appear to be genuine, the rough and unfinished body of the device, as well as the absence of an LCD display show that this may, in fact be a physical mockup based on previous rumors. KitGuru did not specify as to where the images came from, but mentioned that it was seen “in the Far East”.
Numerous parts for the upcoming iPhone 5 have been found, but it is unclear whether many of these claims are genuine, especially when considering that some Chinese vendors and casemakers have been wrong in the past. Apple’s next generation iPhone is expected to be released in October, along with the rumored iPad Mini and the final version of iOS 6.