“Apple Inc’s next-generation iPhone has not even been released yet, but opportunistic sellers on China’s largest e-commerce platform, Taobao, are already accepting pre-orders, complete with mock-up pictures and purported technical specifications,” Melanie Lee reports for Reuters.

“The hotly anticipated iPhone 5 is widely expected to be released sometime between August and October this year, although Apple itself has been tight-lipped about it. Sources have said the iPhone 5 would have a bigger screen than previous models, while Taiwanese media reported the phone’s voice recognition software, Siri, would have more powerful functions,” Lee reports. “Sellers on Taobao, a unit of Alibaba Group, are accepting orders for the iPhone 5, in some cases asking for a deposit of 1,000 yuan ($160) for the new phone. One seller, “Dahai99888″, who started accepting pre-orders this week, is asking for full payment upfront, at a cool 6,999 yuan ($1,100).”

Lee reports, “Taobao sellers that Reuters spoke with said they planned to buy the iPhone 5 in Hong Kong or the United States and then bring it to mainland China. ‘Demand is high. Yesterday someone just bought two phones. Altogether we have about two dozen orders,’ said one seller on Taobao who went by the nickname Xiaoyu.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Munster was right, iPhone 5 (or whatever it’ll be called) certainly is going to be the “Mother of all Upgrades.”