Apple iPhone 5 Pre-orders Begin Ahead of Handset’s Official Release

Opportunistic sellers on China’s Taobao e-commerce service offer preorders for Apple’s iPhone 5.

Despite the next version of Apple’s iPhone has not even been released yet, opportunistic vendors are already accepting pre-orders in order. Photo: Martin Hajek/Flickr

Vendors on Chinese Taobao, a unit of Alibaba Group, are accepting orders for the next generation iPhone, asking for a deposit of 1,000 yuan ($160) for the yet not released device.

One of the sellers, “Dahai99888”, who started accepting pre-orders earlier this week, set his own price for full payment upfront, at a cool 6,999 yuan ($1,100). Another says that the only way to be guaranteed to get the iPhone 5 at launch will be to pay 1,000 yuan ($160).

The Taobao sellers revealed to Reuters that they intend to buy the Apple devices in the U.S. and Hong Kong whenever it goes on sale, and then bring them to China. However, Alibaba Group hasn’t promised any specific delivery date.

“Demand is high, yesterday someone just bought two phones. Altogether we have about two dozen orders,” one of the sellers on Taobao by the nickname Xiaoyu said.

“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!”

The statistics confirms this information. Chinese consumers are ready to buy smuggled goods to get them before the official release in the country.

Earlier this year scalpers queued overnight outside a Beijing store for the iPhone 4, only to pelt it with eggs after Apple decided against selling the phone at the store because of security concerns.

Meanwhile the Cupertino-based company has not confirmed the news and hasn’t revealed any details or price of the latest iPhone.

Still, the rumor has been in overdrive, churning out photo renderings and pictures of purported iPhone 5 engineering samples, and speculating endlessly on its technical specifications and functions, writes IBN Live.

The iPhone and iPad producer forbids the purchase of its devices for reselling. Its sales policy states, “You may not purchase products at the Apple Store for resale, and we reserve the right to refuse or cancel your order if we suspect you are doing so. And we’re pretty good at figuring that out…”

The upcoming device will reportedly feature to pack some serious power in the form of a quad-core A6 chip, writes Iphonetouch.

For the correct work of the chip, the iPhone 4S is powered by an A5 Chip (dual-core) and Apple’s latest version of the iPad uses an A5X chip.

Certain sources suggest that the next generation iPhone won’t be the first smartphone to feature a quad-core processing chip, but it’s believed to certainly be the most efficient and the fastest.

Last week saw reports that that NFC won’t be on the feature list of the next iPhone, expected in June or July.

Insiders at several of the largest mobile operators in the UK said: “The new iPhone will not have NFC, Apple told the operators it was concerned by the lack of a clear standard across the industry.”

Yet Apple is reported to be working on its own adaptation of NFC, which would connect payments through iTunes. The Cupertino-based company believes it will introduce the technology in a handset likely to be released next year.

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