White iPhone 4 Supplies Could Be Incredibly Limited
If the iPhone 4's recent wave of negative press has adversely impacted sales of the device, no one is able to notice. With more than three million fourth-gen iPhones now in consumer hands, the product is Apple's biggest success in the smartphone space to date. But with that overwhelming demand comes natural supply concerns. And if new reports relating to the white iPhone 4's production are legitimate, we will have a better understanding of yet another production issue keeping supply far behind demand.
Over the weekend, Chinese newspaper "21st Century Business Herald
" points some degree of blame for the sluggish iPhone 4 production on a China-based factory called "Lens Technology," which makes the white iPhone 4ís front panel. The production problem, as noted by the publication, relates to the alleged ability to only produce three units per hour. The difficulty comes from the delicate work necessary to properly balance white paint levels and opacity. Despite these reports, which came after Apple's press conference on Friday, Steve Jobs maintains that the white iPhone 4 will ship by the end of this month - a timeframe that is rapidly approaching.
But based on what we know from the slow but steady grind at Lens Technology, the present production capacity can only turn out half the units Apple needs to meet anticipated customer demand for the color-alternative iPhone 4. While mass-producing a phone that is simply a different color may seem like a simple-minded if not brainless task, the number of complexities associated with producing a white iPhone are supposedly quite substantial. According to an in-depth look into the white iPhone 4 production process, Engadget
says the manufacturing requires "developing the tooling, cutting the raw material (mainly sourced from Germany, Switzerland and Japan), fine-milling using CNC (computed numerically controlled) machines, sanding the edges, polishing, strengthening, cleaning, coating, screen printing, baking, anti-shatter treatment, assembling, and packaging."
21st Century Business Herald