White iPhone 4 Pulled off Online Store
Following days of rumors about the almost-mythical white iPhone 4, the model has suddenly been pulled off the online Apple Store
, prompting a fresh flood of rumors that it has been cancelled. Though images of the device still appear in the iPhone gallery, the disappearance of any direct reference to the model adds credence to reports that Apple will at least hold off on white iPhones until the release of the fifth-generation device in June or July.
The white iPhone has had an extremely checkered history to date: Gruber at Daring Fireball compares it to Lindsey Lohan in a hilarious R-rated skit
that plays off how erratic Apple has been since announcing the device. It was delayed as soon as it was announced, and when Apple's self-imposed deadline approached, the company pushed it back until later in the year. And as we reported yesterday,
Apple just announced another delay, to spring of next year. Now, the device - which used to be listed as "unavailable for pre-order or in-store pickup" - is nowhere to be found on the webpage or on the Apple Store app. It could be that they decided that it was too confusing for consumers to have an unavailable product on the website. However, the removal happened at just the same time a new rumor claimed that the white iPhone had been canceled altogether.
A post went up on the Boy Genius Report
last night quoting an anonymous source who claims "that Apple in fact has no plans to release the white model iPhone 4." This source also "hypothesized" (meaning: guessed) that there would be another announcement of a delay sometime around March, which would put the white iPhone's ETA in the same timeframe as the expected release of the next generation device in summer. BGR also claims that a separate manufacturing source had no information about any further problems, and the post speculated that the delay might be "something else going on behind the scenes" without elaborating.
I've checked my sources and the various corners of the interwebs, and this appears to be absolute, unadulterated rumor and speculation at this point. Just looking at it analytically, though, it would be ridiculous for Apple to bring out a white iPhone 4 in spring, when we'll all be talking about the rumors that the iPhone 5 will be made of unobtainium, or will make you immortal or something. The iPhone 4 will drop in price as soon as the fifth-generation model comes out, and who knows, maybe we'll see it come out in two colors. This has all the hallmarks of classic Apple guerilla marketing, though. There's no way the white iPhone would have gotten so much attention if it weren't for all this drama.