In early June this year, at WWDC 2010, Apple revealed the iPhone 4. Like the 3GS before it, it would ship in two colors: black and white.
However, just a few weeks later Apple announced that the white models had “proven more challenging to manufacture than expected,” and that they would be available for sale the second half of July.
On July 23, Apple again pushed back the device, saying that the white iPhone 4 would be for sale “later this year.”
While the Apple PR page doesn’t have any new information, Reuters is reporting that Apple has delayed the white iPhone 4 yet again:
“We’re sorry to disappoint customers waiting for the white iPhone again,” Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller said. When asked why the white phone would again be delayed, Muller declined to comment.
Rumor has it that these delays are due to an issue with Apple’s glass supplier not being able to reliably produce the white glass panels.
Earlier today, the device made news when it showed up in Apple’s Apple Store app, fueling speculation that the device was getting ready to be launched, but that Reuter’s report sure seems to quench the hope of white iPhone fans.
Of course, a spring release would be unusual. Historically, Apple launches a new iPhone mid-summer, meaning the white iPhone 4 would be on the market potentially for just a few months. I wonder if at some point Apple won’t just scrap the device entirely.
Cult of Mac is now reporting that the white iPhone 4 continues to be delayed because of issues with the camera and light leakage. While previous rumors indicated the white device had light leakage issues, this particular cause deals with light being let in through the white glass, interfering with photos. Leander Kahney from Cult of Mac:
“You don’t get accurate pictures on the white iPhone because of the color of the glass back. It washes out the pictures,” said a source with connections to Apple who asked to remain anonymous.
The source said Apple has been struggling to isolate the camera sensor. The problem may demand a complete redesign, they said, hence the string of delays.
A “complete redesign” would be a serious setback.
While Apple has never given a reason past the ambiguous “manufacturing issues,” it’s definitely an interesting case of Apple’s design team and manufacturing partners not being able to make something work. It’s a rare misfire by the company.