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Chinese sellers offer iPhone 5 pre-orders

Last year's "HiPhone 5" sale on Taobao.
Last year's "HiPhone 5" sale on Taobao.
Last year's "HiPhone 5" sale on Taobao.

(CNET) China's Taobao e-commerce platform is home to a host of preorder opportunities for an Apple smartphone that might not even exist.

According to Reuters, several sellers on Taobao are offering preorders for Apple's long-rumored iPhone 5. One of the sellers, Reuters says, is currently accepting preorders for 1,000 yuan ($160). Another says that the only way to be guaranteed to get the iPhone 5 at launch will be to pay in full - 6,999 yuan ($1,100) - upfront.

China, and especially Taobao, have long been home to sellers attempting to take advantage of the iPhone's popularity. Back in August, when the world believed that Apple would launch the iPhone 5 and not the iPhone 4S, sellers on Taobao were offering up the "HiPhone 5," a copycat device designed to capitalize on of all of the excitement surrounding the handset.

In order to get consumers to place preorders for the iPhone 5, sellers are listing the device's specifications and showing mock-up images, according to Reuters. It's a rather interesting move, considering Apple has not confirmed that the iPhone 5 exists, let alone shown off its features or design.

Still, customers are buying the preorders at a surprisingly rapid clip. According to Reuters, one seller has already received over 24 orders and nabbed two purchases in one day earlier this week.

Apple has so far been silent on what its plans might be for its smartphone. However, the rumor mill suggests the iPhone 5 could come with a 4-inch screen, 4G LTE support, and a host of other additions.

This article originally appeared on CNET under the headline "They're at it again: Chinese sellers offer iPhone 5 pre-orders"

  • Don Reisinger

    Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

    Don writes product reviews for InformationWeek and Computerworld, and is a regular contributor to Byte and Switch. You can visit his personal site at or email him at