The elusive white iPhone has reportedly been spotted in the wild, and the owner has an explanation for the seemingly interminable delay. In a story that's getting a lot of play despite being more than a little suspicious, Stuart Miles of the British tech blog Pocket-lint saw someone holding a white iPhone
a press event in New York City today and took a few covert pictures before approaching the owner. According to the story, the so-called "mystery man" said Apple has boxes of the phones in Cupertino that it's unwilling to sell because the Home button doesn't match the bezel. Asked how he was able to get the phone, the man said that a friend inside "fixed him up" with it.
The iPhone has been shrouded in mystery since it was first announced. Just days before the iPhone 4 launch, Apple said the white version would be delayed to the second half of July
. Then, when that deadline came and went, the company announced that the white iPhones "have continued to be more challenging to manufacture than we originally expected," and pushed the release off to sometime "later this year
." And that's pretty much the last we've heard about the device.
The sighting was independently reported by two bloggers who attended the event in New York City last night: Pocket-lint's Miles and Sal Cangeloso at Geek.com
. Both report the same story, told to them by the phone's owner: the production of white iPhones was halted because the front and back plates, produced by one company, did not match the color and translucency of the Home button which was produced by another company. Rather than let an imperfect product reach the market, Steve Jobs and Apple's quality control pulled the plug on the assembly line. Supposedly, though, the phones are available to those in the know at Apple.
It's a bit of a fishy story, though given Apple's notoriety for losing track of their iPhones,
I guess it doesn't stretch credibility that
much. Previously this week, another purported white iPhone saw the light of day when British actor Stephen Fry "accidentally" pulled one from his pocket
at the T3 Gadget Awards in London on Monday. Claiming it was "the only white iPhone in Europe," Fry then put the iPhone back in his pocket and took out a Windows Phone 7 smartphone instead.