The iPhone 6 is not due to launch for at least another month but this has not stopped two China-based online retailers from offering a mockup version to Apple aficionados.

Unfortunately for anyone hoping to use the device as a phone, the product on offer is nothing more than an empty shell.

It is currently advertised on the online shopping site Taobao for 379 Yuan (£36), with images of the fake iPhone 6 showing a silver-coloured logoless device with a blank screen.

Physically the dummy iPhone 6 is in keeping with the rumours surrounding Apple's next flagship model, featuring curved edges and rearranged volume and power buttons.

It could therefore appeal to case makers looking to get their new stock to market as fast as possible after Apple launched its next smartphone.

September launch

The iPhone 6 is expected to be announced in September, alongside the launch of Apple's latest iOS 8 mobile operating system.

Apple has typically released a new iPhone each year around September, though some sources believe that this year the California-based company will be breaking the cycle.

Rumours have so far hinted at a 4.7in phone to be released ahead of a phablet-sized 5.5in device, which may not be available until early next year.

Recent patent sightings and factory leaks suggest that the latest iPhone will feature an improved camera, a sapphire screen and a new navigation system that combines Wi-Fi access points and GPS to achieve more accurate data positioning.

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