Chinese online retailer Taobao is making headlines for selling the unconfirmed iPhone 5 from Apple complete with convincing mockups and a hefty price tag.Catching the attention of major media outlets, in the likes of Reuters, Taobao’s initiative undoubtedly is frowned upon in Cupertino where Tim Cook & Co. are preparing to unveil the much-hyped handset in the coming months.
Taobao is selling the surreal phone for well over a thousand dollars, $1,349 to be precise, which translates into about €1,100. The original price is listed in the country’s official currency – 8599 Yuan.
Taobao is not the first to attempt cashing in on the hype surrounding Apple’s unreleased smartphone. Earlier this week, Softpedia reported that Chinese retailer Sohu had put up banners featuring iPod touch graphics, as well as a picture of an iPhone “teardrop” concept, with the option to place a pre-order.
Not surprisingly, Taobao is using convincing (but faux) imagery created by a 3D design expert using the Internet handle Martin uit Utrecht.
His most recent works include a superbly crafted white version of the iPhone 5 which many pundits agree will have a larger display and a taller body.
Martin went all the way to include the iOS Passbook application interface in his graphics, creating the most convincing mockups of an unreleased Apple product to date (or so we believe).
If Apple does end up pursuing this particular design, the company’s promotional materials could well look identical to the graphics up on Martin's photostream and, implicitly, Taobao.
Gizmodo's Jesus Diaz also took a stab at what Apple's site might look like with iPhone 5 ads.
All in all, it’s safe to note that pretty much the entire world is waiting for this thing arms open wide. And China has been quick to capitalize on the frenzy, as always.