Deutsche Telekom is already giving customers a way to reserve Apple's next iPhone ahead of it having actually been announced, according to multiple reports.
Bloomberg reports that the European carrier is handing out coupons for the device to customers who ask for it without actually calling the device the iPhone 5. A company spokesperson told the outlet the move is based on expectations of the phone being hard to get once it's released.
A follow-up report by German language news site Focus.de (as picked up by AppleInsider) notes that this pre-ordering process is being intentionally kept low profile, with no mention of it in advertising or its online store. Instead, customers will need to go into the carrier's retail stores and request a reservation for the device.
Deutsche Telekom did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation of the program.
Apple and its carrier partners received more than 600,000 pre-orders for the iPhone 4 last year, resulting infor those trying to reserve the device for purchase on its first day of availability. Apple then had trouble keeping up with demand, with new orders taking weeks to ship out to new buyers and causing customer lineups at Apple's retail stores and carriers that were selling the device.
Deutsche Telekom became the second European sales partner for Apple following the launch of the original iPhone in 2007. The two companies proceeded to launch the handset on Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile network in early November.
Apple's next iPhone is expected to be released, marking a departure from the company's longstanding tradition of a summer release. The timing also coincides with when Apple typically holds its annual event to spruce up its lineup of iPods and The Apple TV.