Apple confirms white iPhone 4 delayed until late this year

26 Jul 2010

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Apple has confirmed that the much anticipated white version of the iPhone 4 will be delayed until later this year because of a shortage of key parts. Black model iPhone 4 devices will not be affected.

The white iPhone 4 smartphone is no doubt set to be a much prized possession for die-hard Apple fans.

But manufacturing the device and bringing it to market has been delayed from debuting at the same time as the black iPhone 4 until possibly much later this year.

“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,” Apple said in a statement on Friday evening.

“The availability of the more popular iPhone 4 black models is not affected,” the company said.

The iPhone 4, which Apple CEO Steve Jobs said sold 3 million in its first three weeks after debuting in the States and larger international markets in June, is due to be released in Ireland and 17 other countries this Friday, 30 July.

In less than three years, Apple has risen from nowhere to become the main trendsetter for the mobile devices world, putting previous stalwarts Nokia, Sony-Ericsson and Motorola on the backfoot.

Not such a black and white issue

However, the delay marks another bend in the road for the troubled but apparently brilliant device. The road should have been smoother. In recent weeks, Apple has had to move to quell increasing controversy over antenna issues in the device which resulted in bars dropping if you held the device a certain way.

Apple’s responses went from the ridiculous – “you’re holding it wrong” – to the sublime: a free metallic bumper or case that fixes the problem or your money back.

Comparing the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 3GS using AT&T return rates, Jobs said the 3GS return rate was 6pc, while for the iPhone 4 it has just been 1.7pc.

Jobs said the iPhone 4 drops less calls than the iPhone 3GS – less than one in a hundred – and he said that he received 5,000 emails from users telling him the new device works perfectly.

So, with the signal issue out of the way for now, Apple can get back to doing what it does best, releasing aesthetically pleasing devices for flocks of aesthetically and technologically-minded followers. Only if you want a white iPhone 4, you’ll have to wait.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com