Good grief. Now you can pre-order the new iPhone 5 from China's biggest e-commerce website. It's still a month or three before the release date, so grab a shaker full of salt.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is keeping schtum, natch, but is doubtless overjoyed about the additional frothy chatter. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers are happy to oblige.
By Richi Jennings: Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the Eurofighter's delightful...
A po-faced Melanie Lee reports from Shanghai:
...opportunistic sellers on China's largest e-commerce platform...are already accepting pre-orders. ... iPhone 5 is widely expected to be released...between August and October.
Sellers on Taobao, a unit of Alibaba Group, are accepting orders...asking for a deposit of 1,000 yuan ($160)...[or] full payment upfront, at a cool 6,999 yuan ($1,100). ... The sellers could not promise a specific delivery time.
Apple did not respond to requests for comment.
And Bryan Chaffin is "fascinated":
Apple typically brings its iOS devices to China a little later than in other markets. ... The iPhone 4S was introduced...three months after it went on sale elsewhere.
It is this grey market that has added to long lines and even riots at some of Apple’s retail stores.
But Jonny Evans tries to douse the flames:
Don't get too excited. ... Chinese online retailers [are] offering the unannounced, unconfirmed and unrevealed smartphone...and orders are coming in.
They plan to purchase the device in Hong Kong or the US and then import them into China. ... Demand for smuggled iPhones means...China Mobile, already has over a million...on its network -- even though it doesn't...offer iPhones officially.
Meanwhile, Erica Ogg rolls her eyes:
If you thought iPhone mania...reached its peak...think again.
Taobao is China’s eBay. ... This is obviously a terrible idea...placing an order with a random reseller online [with] no assurance the product even exists.
Apple’s got to be at least a little bit pleased by this episode.
And Christina Bonnington is all, like, "Wait, What?": [OMG BBQ? -Ed.]
The Chinese have a curious take on intellectual property and retail. ... The Taobao pre-orders bear a certain unseemliness...China tends to be a hotbed for Apple knock-offs.
Apple expressly forbids the purchase of Apple products for reselling. ... [But] reselling continues to be rampant. ... Apple’s next iPhone...will be no exception to this trend.