Apple's White iPhone 4 a Little Thicker than Original

Apple's white iPhone 4 is 0.2mm thicker than the original version, suggest reports, perhaps due to engineering needs associated with the pale casing.

In what at least one wit has dubbed "Thicknessgate," Apple's white iPhone 4 is apparently 0.2mm thicker than its black counterpart.

As you can see from the images posted on the Apple-centric blog MacRumors, both iPhone 4 models boast an exterior antenna rim of equal thickness. The white version's casing, though, is slightly thicker. Apple's Website lists the iPhone 4's thickness (or depth) at 9.3mm, without specifying any variation between versions.

Is this a problem? According to some online reports, some cases designed for the original iPhone 4 are proving a tight fit on the white version. (The blog TiPb provides a fairly comprehensive breakdown of which cases play nicest.)

The bigger question is whether the white iPhone 4 will boost Apple's share of the smartphone market. Some analysts believe the new color could give iOS a short-term boost through the summer.

"The purchase of consumer electronic devices is not always a complete rational decision, and people buy Apple products for many different reasons, including status, aesthetics, functionality, quality and -cool factor,'" Brian White, an analyst with Ticonderoga Securities, wrote in an April 27 research note. "In our view, this delay has created a certain mystique and scarcity value around the -white' iPhone 4 that we believe could drive incremental iPhone 4 purchases in the range of 1 million to 1.5 million units per quarter until the iPhone 5 potentially comes to market in September."

Apple officially released the white iPhone 4 April 28, following months of delays and speculation. It is available on both Verizon and AT&T in the United States.

In an April 27 chat with AllThingsD, Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, suggested that building the white iPhone 4 had been "challenging" with regard to the "material science of it-how it holds up over time ... but also in how it all works with the sensors."

The engineering solution, perhaps, involved thickening the front and back panels a little bit.

According to new research by NPD Group, Apple holds third place among U.S. smartphone manufacturers, with 14 percent, trailing Samsung at 23 percent and LG Electronics at 18 percent-and managing to stay ahead of HTC, Motorola and Research In Motion's BlackBerry franchise.

"Apple and Verizon had a very successful launch of the iPhone 4, which allowed the iPhone to expand its market share that was previously held back by its prolonged carrier exclusivity with AT&T," Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis at NPD Group, wrote in an April 28 statement. "While some of that growth came at the expense of Android operating system, Android models still accounted for half of all smartphones sold in the quarter."

NPD Group places iPhone 4 as the top-selling mobile phone in the United States, followed by the iPhone 3G S, Motorola Droid X, HTC Evo 4G and HTC Droid Incredible.