Will the White iPhone 4 Ever Launch?
Things are not looking good for the mysteriously absent white iPhone 4. With the Verizon iPhone launch six months after the iPhone 4 first became available and an iPhone 5 announcement looming, will Apple even bother? Since the first white iPhone 4 pre-orders were cancelled, the release date for the white iPhone 4 has been moved forward several times.
The latest we heard from Apple was the white iPhone 4 was coming in Spring. The season officially starts in just two weeks and Apple has been silent on the issue. Another white device has dominated the news, with Apple announcing the iPad 2 will ship in white and black next week.
Steve Jobs seemed to joke about the matter when he emphasized that the iPad 2 will ship in white "from day one" at the keynote speech. Apple's official statement in June 2010 was that white iPhone 4 units "have proven more challenging to manufacture than expected, and as a result they will not be available until the second half of July." As we know, July came and went with Apple postponing the device. The white iPhone 4 manufacturing issues cited in reports included paint thickness problems, the home button plastic not matching the white paint and the slow speed at which the white glass pieces were produced.
Now there are additional problems surrounding the camera. Some people have been lucky enough to get their hands on an official white iPhone 4, however they can't take decent pictures with the flash on. Due to the translucent nature of the white-painted glass, the images get washed out thanks to light leaks. The problem also happens when the iPhone 4 is modified to remove paint from the back glass panel, giving it a transparent look. In contrast, Apple can easily make the iPad 2 bezel white without affecting the back camera, especially since the tablet doesn't include a flash.
Strangely, as late as this February reports of retailers setting up displays for the white model have surfaced with no actual device in sight. Best Buy displays and leaked inventory listings seemed to confirm that the white iPhone 4 launch was imminent. Even Wal-Mart was putting stickers for the white iPhone on their shelves in September of last year.
The clock is ticking. Unless Apple decides to postpone the iPhone 5 until September, releasing a white iPhone 4 doesn't make much sense this late in the game. It's more likely the company will focus on its redesign efforts and offer a white iPhone 5 to match the latest iPad.