Non-Existent iPhone 5 Goes On Sale In China
The iPhone 5 has been the subject of a lot of rumors lately, precisely because it doesn’t exist yet. But that’s not stopping a Chinese retail site from offering pre-orders on the device, while others are “selling” it outright.
Taobao, China’s largest e-commerce site, is offering a pre-order of the phone for a deposit of 1,000 yuan (about $160). Taobao is owned by the massive and successful Alibaba Group, offering a strange veneer of legitimacy to the offer. Meanwhile, other sellers are asking for upfront payment in full of a cool 6,999 yuan ($1,100).
Chinese consumers might actually be enticed to pay for an advance sale. Apple gadgets are traditional released in China much later than in the US. Reuters reports that Taobao is planning to buy the phones at American retailers as soon as they are available, and then bring them overseas. Just one problem: this seems to be a pretty clear violation of Apple policy. According to Wired:
Apple expressly forbids the purchase of Apple products 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…”
Apple unveiled a lot of new features at last month’s WWDC, but no iPhone. Many had already assumed the phone’s anticipated release date had been pushed back to the fall, and no official announcement has been made.
At this point, the new iPhone is expected to “be slightly longer than the current iPhone 4/4S, with a larger 4-inch IGZO display,” a new docking feature, and 4G LTE capability, according to the Wired article.
What do you think? Will Alibaba’s scheme pay off in the end?
[via Reuters; photo via Wikimedia/Rob DiCaterino]