After months of delays and speculation, Apple officially announced the white iPhone 4 will arrive on store shelves April 28. Both Verizon and AT&T will offer the smartphone in the United States.
“The white iPhone 4 has finally arrived and it’s beautiful,” Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, wrote in an April 27 statement posted on Apple’s Website. “We appreciate everyone who has waited patiently while we’ve worked to get every detail right.”
Apple’s announcement is relatively unsurprising, considering how Schiller himself Tweeted in March that the white iPhone 4 would debut sometime in the spring timeframe. By that point, the device had become something of Apple’s Moby Dick, a rarely seen beast that nonetheless drew its share of wild rumors and obsessive chattering. Apple has never confirmed the reason behind the delays, although manufacturing issues have been cited by outside sources as the chief culprit.
In October, “a source with connections at Apple” told the blog Cult of Mac that ambient light leaked into the white iPhone 4’s case, affecting its ability to take “accurate pictures.” Apple planned on delaying the device’s release, the blog added, until the camera sensor could be isolated from that ambient light.
In a Jan. 20 studio talk with Engadget, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak also suggested that the white iPhone 4 had camera issues. “It takes bad flash photos,” he said. “The picture with flash was like taken through cellophane.” However, Wozniak based his assessment on a white iPhone 4 he assembled from parts ordered online, not a device taken from Apple’s actual production line.
The iPhone 4’s body incorporates two panes of chemically strengthened alumino-silicate glass, rimmed by a stainless-steel antenna rim. Over the past few months, other sources have attributed the device’s delay to issues with whitening that glass to the desired thickness and opacity.
Whatever the issue, it’s evidently fixed now-nearly a year after the iPhone 4 originally made its debut. In addition to the United States, the white iPhone 4 will make its April 28 debut in 27 other countries, including Japan and the U.K.
Now that the iPhone in all its possible colors is available, speculation can now shift full-force to the iPhone 5. Anonymous sources speaking to Reuters have suggested the next-generation smartphone will ship in September, with production ramp-up slotted for either July or August. Reuters’ information came from unnamed sources, who added that components would be supplied by Foxconn (casing), Wintek Corp (touch-screen), and Largan Precision Co Ltd (camera module).
In addition to higher-resolution cameras, current rumors suggest that the iPhone 5 could include Apple’s A5 proprietary processor, hardware upgraded to enable 3G FaceTime video conferencing, and NFC (near-field communication) technology, which would allow the smartphone to act as an electronic wallet. An iPhone 5 release in early fall would represent a deviation from Apple’s usual habit of pushing out its latest smartphone sometime in the summer.