If you thought iPhone mania may have already reached its peak, well, think again. And read this story from Reuters. It’s reporting that resellers in China are already advertising the iPhone 5 for sale — before Apple has even acknowledged the device’s existence.
From the report:
Sellers on Taobao, a unit of Alibaba Group, are accepting orders for the iPhone 5, in some cases asking for a deposit of 1,000 yuan ($160) for the new phone. One seller, “Dahai99888”, who started accepting pre-orders this week, is asking for full payment upfront, at a cool 6,999 yuan ($1,100).
Taobao is China’s eBay, the most popular place to resell stuff online. The resellers quoted in the story say they planned to procure the next-generation iPhones after the official product launch — which is expected sometime this fall — either in China or Hong Kong.
This is obviously a terrible idea for consumers — placing an order with a random reseller online who has no assurance the product even exists or when it will arrive.
And Apple’s got to be at least a little bit pleased by this episode. Like the near-riots at the iPhone 4S launch in January, this is yet another demonstration of the demand for the iPhone in China — even one that hasn’t been publicly introduced, priced or timed for delivery.