Yet for countless members of the iOSphere, this "news" is another sign of the imminent release of the Next iPhone.
"Don't get too excited but it looks like the Apple iPhone 5 (or is it iPhone 7*) release is closing in, as China's thriving gray market importers have begun offering the new phone for pre-release sale," writes a somewhat excited Jonny Evans at Computerworld's Apple Holic blog.
"Gray market" refers to usually legal but unofficial distribution of controlled or scarce goods, for example bypassing the official importer of a product and that importer's network of distributors. Which is a generous description of scams and frauds.
"Buying Apple devices unseen shows what kind of confidence consumers have in the products that Apple makes," commented Seth Weintraub, at 9to5Mac, apparently without even a trace of irony.
This would be a better rumor if we substituted, say Middle Earth, for the Middle Kingdom.
"Apple Inc.'s next-generation iPalantir has not even been released yet, but opportunistic sellers on Middle Earth's largest e-commerce platform, e-Silmarillion, are already accepting pre-orders, complete with mock-up pictures and purported technical specifications. Sellers are accepting orders for the iPalantir 5, in some cases asking for a deposit of 50 silver pennies for the new magical artifact. One seller, 'Sauron99888,' who started accepting pre-orders this week, is asking for full payment upfront, at a cool 500 gold coins. E-Silmarillioni sellers that Reuters spoke with said they planned to buy the iPalantir in Mordor or The Undying Lands and then bring it to the Shire. Apple declined to comment."
iPhone 5 features revealed by photos of "engineering sample" direct from China
Shawn Ingram at GottaBeMobile has photos of a block of metal machined to resemble an iPhone -- an "engineering sample."
The site's headline: "Exclusive: iPhone 5 Engineering Sample Photos Direct from China" (The best headline on this is at Product-Reviews.net, giving "biotech" new meaning: "iPhone 5 worker leaks metal block").
"A trusted source inside the Apple supply chain sent images of the metal iPhone 5 design sample," Ingram reveals. "The metal block shows the size of the iPhone 5, where the antenna and ports will be and other design aspects."
Not just a source. A Trusted Source. But who? It reminds Rollup of the closing moments of the movie "Raiders of the Lost Ark," when the FBI assures Professor Indiana Jones that "top men" were working on the Lost-but-now-found Ark. "Who?" Jones demands. "Top. Men," the agent replies stiffly.
GottaBeMobile's Top Man in China provided "exclusive photos of an iPhone 5 engineering sample straight from a factory in China." And what do these treasures reveal? They "show the new phone will be slightly taller, slightly thinner and about the same width," Ingram writes. And there are grainy gray photos to prove it.
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