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iPhone 5 preorders offered by over-zealous Chinese retailers

17 July 2012 - 09:52 by Graham Miller

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While Apple has not even confirmed the existence of the iPhone 5, let alone announced a release date, it seems that online retailers in China are jumping the gun and allowing customers to preorder the potential handset right now.

Reuters reports that e-commerce site, Taobao, is letting the merchants which use its channels offer preorders for what will be the sixth iPhone, for the cost of between £109 and £679.

Many of the retailers are advertising the mythic handset in conjunction with a number of predictions about its specification. This is, of course, all speculation, since nothing official has emerged, but it should be noted that the Taobao community has made correct predictions about previous Apple products, which means they are not to be entirely discounted.

Anyone who has carried out safe shopping online at a number of sites may be aware that China is one of the world's biggest sources for knock-off iPhone impersonators, although it seems that these e-commerce entrepreneurs are claiming to be offering the real thing. The only caveat is that you will have to wait for the official launch.

While the iPhone and iPad have proved popular in China, it usually takes a while for Apple's new products to release there, which means western audiences get a head start.

Many of these retailers, therefore, have to head to Hong Kong to get new iPhones early, or else procure them by other means.

The growth of the e-commerce market in China is allowing hundreds of millions of people to participate in safe shopping online, where it was previously impossible. However, in the UK, you are better off waiting for Apple to officially announce the iPhone 5 before you even think about passing on your money to a retailer for any kind of pre-order.