Such is the demand for the new iPhone 6 that counterfeiters are selling knock-offs even before Apple has launched its device.
Leaked schematics and design specifications – which may or may not feature in the new high-end phone due to be launched in the autumn – form the basis of the counterfeits.
China’s largest e-commerce site Taobao has reportedly been selling inoperative dummies of the iPhone for a few dollars a go to people who cannot afford the working models but want to appear as though they can. One of the sellers claimed that the product is "a poor man’s must have."
Now online marketplaces, such as Weibo, are selling functional models according to local news reports.These counterfeit products apparently run on a skinned version of Android which uses a custom launcher that replicates the appearance of iOS 7.
Some celebrities, such as Taiwanese pop-stair Jimmy Lin, have already been spotted posing for selfies clutching their "new" iPhone 6s. However given Apple has deliberately sent out falsified designs of the new iPhone to catch out untrustworthy sellers who want to mimic its designs, they may end up looking somewhat foolish.
It is widely speculated that Apple will debut the iPhone along with the launch of iOS 8.
Ed: As this article went to press, it had been reported that Amazon had leaked details of the iPhone 6. More details at Forbes.com.