White iPhone 4 Back from the Dead?
Apple is apparently sticking to its latest story that white iPhone 4s will be available in the spring: new signs revealed by 9to5Mac
show Apple is advertising the model for sale once again. When the white iPhone 4 disappeared from the Apple Online Store
a couple months ago, many observers interpreted that as a quiet obituary for the long-awaited model. Still, a spring launch would put it just a few months ahead of the expected iPhone 5, at a time when demand is low.
The white iPhone 4 may have been the subject of more stories than any nonexistent product in history. Apple announced it along with the black iPhone 4 at the official launch in June and immediately telegraphed that it would be delayed for a month, saying that "have proven more challenging to manufacture than expected. When July rolled around, Apple then said they wouldn't be available until "later this year
," and in October they pushed it back again, this time to spring 2011
. Immediately after that announcement, though, the white iPhone 4 was removed from the Online Store
and the Apple Store app, prompting rumors that the product had been completely canceled.
Apple has never given any reason for the delay, other than the vague "challenging to manufacture" comment. Reports have implicated various causes, including difficulty matching the color of the Home button, the inability of the white case front to block the glow of the backlight, and ambient light leaking through the white case back ruining images taken by the built-in camera.
A new iPhone 5 is expected in June or July of next year, and sales usually slow down every year as people anticipate the new generation. Launching a variant of the iPhone 4 at that time is seen as a risky move by Apple, so some observers wonder if Apple will lower the price or add features
to help it sell.