Although we have seen snippets of what is purported to be the next iPhone, history forces us not to take anything as a given. In times past, the blogs and various tech affiliated sites have been almost certain of what Apple was preparing, only to be completely thrown off by the eventual product. Still, that hasn’t stopped TaoBao, a Chinese site similar to Amazon, from taking pre-orders of the device, and as you would expect, the images on their landing page are based purely on the rumors we’ve been seeing and hearing for quite a while now.

A lot of sites, particularly those in China (where most Apple products are prepared), begin selling accessories and peripherals way ahead of time, and although there’s no way the unannounced product could be on general sale, that hasn’t stopped TaoBao from offering customers a chance to secure their handset in advance.

From what we have gathered so far, the next iPhone, which most are calling the "iPhone 5" (despite it being the sixth addition to the series), will be considerably longer than the iPhone 4S, and although the screen is expected to remain at the same width, the consensus is that it will become considerably longer, taking the overall diameter nearer to – or in excess of – the four inch mark.

The design, in general, won’t change drastically, and along with a change to the speaker grills and headphone jack positioning, the back plate could be finished in a metal composition, as opposed to the Gorilla Glass 2. Although the glass shell of the iPhone 4S is strong, it is susceptible to cracking if dropped awkwardly, and unless fixed, becomes a bit of a hazard to those who don’t particularly like slicing the tips of their fingers.

On TaoBao’s pre-order page, the handset is priced at a cool $8599, and although Apple has a reputation for pricing its products out of reach of the average consumer, a near ten thousand dollar smartphone would take things to the next level.

iPhone 4S (2)

Although most thought the iPhone would be subject to a large overhaul last year – only to be somewhat disappointed with the modestly-upgraded iPhone 4S – none of the information apparently leaked about the next iPhone are beyond the realms of possibility.

(via Reuters)

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