Apple isn't expected to launch its so-called “iPhone 6” until September. But some online sellers in China are already taking preorders for the company's next-generation, larger-screen smartphone.
“Some Chinese online sellers are encouraging customers to place preorders now to secure the new iPhones,” The Wall Street Journal reports. “One seller even teased an unverified 'exclusive introduction to the iPhone 6' in English using a template similar to Apple's official website.”
More than 30 sellers are offering preorders on the yet-to-be-announced device on Taobao, the popular Chinese online shopping website operated by Alibaba. These sellers claim that they can get the iPhone 6 from the U.S. and Hong Kong for any customer who pays a deposit ranging from ¥500 ($80) to ¥7,999 ($1,288).
According to one of the sellers, Apple will launch the iPhone 6, which is rumored to come in 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models, around Sept. 20. The seller adds that the official prices in China for the smaller version and the larger version will be ¥5,288 ($851) and ¥5,988 ($964), respectively.
The world's largest mobile market by subscribers, China is a very important territory to Apple. Last January, Apple CEO Tim Cook himself was in attendance when China Mobile, the world's largest mobile carrier, officially began selling iPhones. Cook was asked then about the launch of a larger iPhone this year. “We never talk about future things,“ he answered. "We have great things we are working on but we want to keep them secret. That way you will be so much happier when you see it.”
As mentioned, Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 6 in September — with the 5.5-inch version rumored to be released later than the 4.7-inch version. In addition to larger screens, both versions of the handset are rumored to feature thinner profiles and Apple’s faster "A8"processors.
According to a report by The Wall Street Journal yesterday, Apple has asked its suppliers to manufacture between 70 million and 80 million units combined of the two iPhone 6 models by the end of the year. Mass production of the 4.7-inch model is said to begin at Foxconn and Pegatron, Apple's two main iPhone assemblers, next month and that of the 5.5-inch model is reportedly set to be carried out exclusively at Foxconn beginning in September.