For the third time since announcing it in June, Apple has pushed back the release of the white iPhone 4, now saying we won't see it until spring 2011. In an apologetic statement, an Apple spokeswoman continued the official silence about the delays, declining comment. Guesses have ranged from discoloration of the Home button to backlight leakage around the bezel, and a new report out today asserts the issue is light leakage into the device, affecting the camera.
Apple's newly updated Store app
includes a screen to reserve both black and white iPhone 4s. This raised some hopes that the long-awaited device might soon make it to store shelves, but attempting to use the app to reserve a white iPhone only produces the message "Because of high demand, we are not currently taking iPhone reservations." The buzz generated by the app may have led Apple to issue an official response. Gabriel Madway at Reuters quoted Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller
as saying "We're sorry to disappoint customers waiting for the white iPhone again," but not offering any reason why the phone has been repeatedly delayed. The white model was first pushed back to a launch in late July
when the iPhone 4 was released in June. As July rolled around, Apple waved off the white iPhone to a vague "later this year
The only story Apple has ever given for the delays is that the white iPhone turned out to be "more challenging to manufacture than expected". One white phone was spotted in New York
, with the owner offering the story that a color mismatch between the device's body and Home button caused Apple to reject it. A separate storyline claims that light from the screen's backlight leaks around and through the less opaque white bezel, marring its appearance in low light. Cult of Mac's Leander Kahney put forth a new explanation today
: light's not leaking out
of the white iPhone 4, but into
it. Quoting "a source with connections to Apple who asked to remain anonymous," Kahney claims that light leakage ruins pictures taken with the built-in camera. "You don't get accurate pictures on the white iPhone because of the color of the glass back," the source says. "It washes out the pictures."
Whatever the reason, the wait for a white iPhone 4 will continue well into the beginning of next year, and possibly longer given the track record to date. The fifth-generation iPhone is expected in June 2011, and may arrive sooner than the white fourth-generation iPhone.