Apple iPhone 5: Retailer Taking Pre-Orders Before Release-Date Announcement

**Editor’s note: Please click here for our latest roundup of iPhone 5 speculation.**

If you think the world doesn’t go bananas over the iPhone, consider this factoid.

A Chinese company, Sohu, is offering iPhone 5 pre-orders already. That’s according to a report from Kotaku, a Gawker Media property.

The in-store display shows what appears to be an iPod Touch rather than a new iPhone, according to Kotaku.

What makes the report bizarre is that Apple hasn’t even announced a next-generation iPhone. How does one take a pre-order on a gadget that hasn’t even been released?

Perhaps the retailer Sohu just craves publicity or wishes to reign in potential iPhone customers when Apple eventually releases the new phone. Either way, mission accomplished.

China represents an enormous opportunity for iPhone sales, analysts have said, and Apple has cited robust growth in the region.

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