No official release date, images or specs - but you can pre-order an iPhone 5 in China already...
Sellers on Taobao, China's largest e-commerce platform have been advertising Apple's new iPhone 5 for pre-sale
The lack of any official technical specifications, pictures, or even a release date is no obstacle to selling a product online in China it seems.
Sellers on Taobao, China's largest e-commerce platform, have been advertising Apple's new iPhone 5 for pre-sale - complete with mocked up images and guestimate specifications – for prices reaching 7,500 Chinese yuan (£759).
Apple's latest version of its flagship product is widely tipped to be released sometime in August or September, however no specific details have yet been announced.
Sources have suggested that the new iPhone would have a larger screen as well as extending the functions of the phone's voice recognition software, Siri.
But as yet any claims to know specifications are likely to be pure guesswork.
One entrepreneurial Taobao seller even posted a list of 17 possible iPhone 5 features, alongside a potential likelihood percentage that they would appear in the new device.
The likelihood that Taobao sellers know something everyone else doesn’t seems low, however, seemingly fake sales of Apple goods have in the past given a good indication of the product to come.
Online retailers Alibaba.com were selling accurate cases for the most recent iPad weeks before specifications of the product itself were announced.
According to one Taobao seller the new iPhones are already popular with customers, “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.
Many consumers in China buy smuggled goods in order to get them prior to official release, and demand for Apple products is huge.
“It's not so easy to bring the phones from overseas, there's a limit to how many you can carry in... If we could bring in a few thousand that will be great!” said Taobao seller Xiaoyu.
The rumour mill has, of course, been going into overdrive, as is the norm in the build-up to a new Apple release, and the images that appear on the Taobao aren’t too dissimilar to some of the concept photographs that have emerged.
Aesthetic rumours spanning from ultra-slim handsets to phones with the capability to mount DSLR lenses to the back have flooded the internet, and many of the top technology websites have thrown in their two cents by posting concept shots of what they believe the new iPhone will look like.
Internally, most rumours are pointing toward an A6 processor – the natural successor of the A5 chip, which is currently used in the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4 and 4S.
Rumours of near-field communication (NFC) chips are also rife, being one of the more desirable features. Apple fans are calling for this inclusion which will allow small purchases to be made by swiping their handset at a pay point.
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