Written by Jon Walton
Grab your passports - the most anticipated tech release of the year, Apple's upcoming iPhone 5, is already being sold on popular Chinese commerce sites.
The next generation smartphone from the world's most profitable company is rumored to be released sometime around August/September, but Apple is keeping a tight seal on official word of the 4-inch all-in-wonder device. Some entrepreneuring Chinese companies like Taobao are already offering the iPhone 5 for sale online, however, with mockup images and purported technical specifications to boot.
Among the buzz-worthy potential attributes, some notables include a longer display, more processing power, and expanded capabilities for Siri, the femme-digi-tal assistant of the future.
Most pre-orders for the iPhone 5 require a down payment of at least $160, but some sites require a full payment of a cool $1,100 to secure a first-in-line spot for the release - a steep price for a phone whose existence remains to be officially acknowledged.
Apple may want to reconsider the name of its flagship product, as researches and experts agree that the term 'smartphone' is becoming outdated. Phone capabilities now make up only a small fraction of uses reported by consumers for the tech devices, which have become e-mail and web portals, to-do calendars, app storage devices and cameras. With rumors of a 7 inch iPad hitting the market later in the year as well, the line between personal computing tablet and telecommunication device are sure to blur even further.