iPhone 6 Rumors Spark Chinese Pre-orders

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After iPhone 5 sales fell short of expectations last year, it seemed obvious that Chinese consumers were gravitating toward the bigger-screened (and not to mention cheaper) Androids that Samsung and Xiaomi were putting out.

Though sales rebounded in early 2014, Apple is reportedly designing the “iPhone 6″—as it is unofficially being called—with larger screens to cater to changing tastes. Cue Chinese mob.

Despite the fact that Apple has not released any official timeline or details about the next-gen iPhone, the Wall Street Journal reports that “more than thirty sellers on Alibaba’s Taobao marketplace said they can help purchase the upcoming new iPhone 6s from the U.S. and Hong Kong.”

Unsurprisingly, some Chinese consumers interested in the next iPhone are willing to pay a premium. According to the same article, “consumers have to pay a deposit ranging from 500 yuan ($80)  to 7,999 yuan ($1288).”

News broke earlier this month that China’s homegrown Xiaomi had overtaken Samsung as China’s largest smartphone vendor. It’s no surprise. The more affordable Xiaomi phones look equally sleek but cost much less than their Galaxy and iPhone counterparts.

However, the numbers show that the Chinese have not lost their passion for Apple. This new iPhone may give Apple the boost it needs to reestablish its place in the Chinese mobile market.