Apple delays white iPhone 4 until late 2010

Apple delays white iPhone 4 until late 2010

Summary: Apple on Friday issued a brief statement that the white version of its popular (and occasionally maligned) iPhone 4 will be delayed.

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Apple on Friday issued a brief statement that the white version of its popular (and occasionally maligned) iPhone 4 will be delayed.

The company said:

White models of Apple's new iPhone 4 have continued to be more challenging to manufacture than we originally expected, and as a result they will not be available until later this year. The availability of the more popular iPhone 4 black models is not affected.

It's unclear if the delay is simply due to overwhelming demand, but Apple surely would have said as much if that were the case. Some have also suggested that the company could be looking into revisiting the antenna problem that plagued current models on the market, but that seems unlikely, since it stood by the design of its product in a recent press conference. (To boot, the white model is less popular.)

What's most likely is supply chain issues. AppleInsider's Josh Ong reports that LG Display has been unable to fulfill orders for displays used in Apple's iPad, promising to catch up to demand by Q2 2011. It's entirely possible that Apple is facing similar shortages for its iPhone, which remains its most popular product.

Update: Chinese newspaper 21st Century Business Herald reports that one employee told them it has to do with production issues resulting from difficulties ensuring that the device's white paint will be thin enough to meet the company's clearance specifications but thick enough to ensure opacity.

Topics: iPhone, Apple, Hardware, Mobility, Smartphones

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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18 comments
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  • RE: Apple delays white iPhone 4 until late 2010

    You're not paying attention. The problem is in the manufacturing process for the white paint on glass surface. http://www.engadget.com/2010/07/18/white-iphone-4-delay-the-challenges-faced-by-apples-glass-supp/
    Are you writing a news item or commentary?
    jpaddock
    • RE: Apple delays white iPhone 4 until late 2010

      @jpaddock

      No, the problem, I think is with their expanding focus on new product launches...according to what I read here:

      Apple Delays Launch of White iPhone?Announces it will focus on these 4 new products instead.

      VERY FUNNY


      http://www.dailygoat.com/?p=1491
      pchrun
      • RE: Apple delays white iPhone 4 until late 2010

        @pchrun
        nice 1! I love it, gotta share this one on facebook, thanks pchrun! ;)
        dlancelot
    • RE: Apple delays white iPhone 4 until late 2010

      @jpaddock Pay attention to Chinese-language newspapers? Generally, no. But I'll add it to the post. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
      andrew.nusca
  • Transparent

    I don't care about opacity, myself. Actually I'd like to have a transparent one. Wouldn't that be cool?
    Ed Burnette
  • It's official, the white iPhone is vaporware

    Tsk tsk Apple!!

    Cue the double standards...
    NonZealot
    • RE: Apple delays white iPhone 4 until late 2010

      Eric Schmidt likes to say that Google is a fundamentally "open" company, and according to the man himself, this means that Google is the anti-Apple
      http://applerivals.blogspot.com/2010/09/schmidt-google-is-inverse-of-apple.html
      inspirearun
  • RE: Apple delays white iPhone 4 until late 2010

    This headline is an informative example of the way in which for some people anything Apple-related is automatically considered newsworthy.

    A white iPhone coming soon. It's not what I'd call a story. :)
    Tim Acheson
  • This sounds like a Chrysler engine problem from way back...

    when the valve mechanism started to rattle badly at pretty low mileages.. The design, said Chrysler, was good, but they couldn't make the metal hard enough.<br><br>And Apple (or its suppliers) seemingly can't make paint thin enough... <br><br>how about using white base material? then the paint wouldn't need to be all that thick
    redking44
    • RE: Apple delays white iPhone 4 until late 2010

      @redking44 exactly! good idea! :)
      xdunlapx
  • RE: Apple delays white iPhone 4 until late 2010

    @max597
    Jerk!!!
    DAG1955
  • My guess...

    Given that Apple apparently doesn't have a problem lying to its customers (who will happily believe everything they tell them), my guess is that they are secretly working on a fix for the antenna problem. The reason they don't want to make public that an update is in the works is that every iPhone 4 will be returned immediately if people know an iPhone 4 v2 is around the corner. This way, by saying there really isn't a problem, it will be too late to return the phone once people figure out that an updated version has been released.
    Qbt
    • RE: Apple delays white iPhone 4 until late 2010

      @Qbt
      Since Apple is the most honest of all the PC/software makers, my guess is the delay is the result of some standard that can't be met in production, as the author says.

      Apple will not release junk as others do. They will take their time and get it right.

      If they want to throw in better coating on the antenna, that is fine.
      zdnetbtg
  • Apple, How Many More Setbacks?

    Another setback once again for Apple it will be interesting to see what's next in the news regarding iPhone issues (antenna, manufacturing) and their steps to refund cases won?t make up for the iPhone 4's lack of function over form.

    It's a shame to see so many issues with the iPhone 4 after so many people waited for it's release. What's more of a shame is that it seems Apple knew about some of these issues already, such as the problem with reception.

    But Apple have created such a loyal following that people may just put up with what issues there are for the sake of owning the latest Apple product.
    Personally, I'd be happier with an older iPhone - at least then the issues are all ironed out.

    However, it's also interesting to see how much excitement new technologies can bring. New technology and innovation is important for new business, illustrated by entrepreneurship grants and new business competitions like http://www.ukesnc.com.

    Guess it's not all bad!
    galile0
  • Apple - Anymore Setbacks

    Another setback once again for Apple it will be interesting to see what's next in the news regarding iPhone issues (antenna, manufacturing) and their steps to refund cases won?t make up for the iPhone 4's lack of function over form.

    It's a shame to see so many issues with the iPhone 4 after so many people waited for it's release. What's more of a shame is that it seems Apple knew about some of these issues already, such as the problem with reception.

    But Apple have created such a loyal following that people may just put up with what issues there are for the sake of owning the latest Apple product.
    Personally, I'd be happier with an older iPhone - at least then the issues are all ironed out.

    However, it's also interesting to see how much excitement new technologies can bring. New technology and innovation is important for new business, illustrated by entrepreneurship grants and new business competitions like http://www.ukesnc.com.

    Guess it's not all bad!
    galile0
  • Late 2010?

    When is "late 2010"? I'm currently struggling with signal issues with Orange, and would quite like to cancel my contract 3 months early and get the white iphone 4....is it worth waiting the extra months with very little signal to find that Apple delay it further? It doesnt sound like they have an ACTUAL date in mind here..
    Metalgurrrl
  • color swap

    I did this and it was returned to me within 4 days.
    These guys offer overnight shipping for free with every color swap.
    I sent them my black one and they sent it to me in white!
    amazing

    http://www.zeetron.com/pages/iPhone-4-Color-Swap.html
    nhl247
  • RE: Apple delays white iPhone 4 until late 2010

    White iPhone 4 will be hidden in weeks
    http://www.technews5.com/2011/04/white-iphone-4-will-be-hidden-in-weeks.html
    The white iPhone 4 has become the mythical beast in Apple?s product line up. First expected to launch alongside the standard black iPhone 4 last year,
    jackxp7