White iPhone 4 Coming in Spring: Apple Executive

Apple will release the white iPhone 4 this spring, tweeted Apple executive Philip Schiller. Rumors of the smartphone have circulated for months.

Apple's white iPhone 4 is apparently on track for a spring release, according to a Tweet from Philip Schiller, the company's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing.

In response to a March 13 Tweet from one Eric Anderson-asking, "How do I get a white iphone?"-Schiller (or someone using his verified account) Tweeted back: "Hi Eric. The white iPhone will be available this spring (and it is a beauty!)."

The white iPhone 4 has become something of Apple's Moby Dick, a rarely seen beast that nonetheless continues to draw the obsessed. In the face of officially unexplained delays (and rumors of persistent manufacturing issues), its release date has retreated ever further into the future.

If Schiller is correct, and the white iPhone 4 makes its debut in late spring, the device will have arrived nearly a year after the black iPhone 4's unveiling. Although the latter remains a front-and-center part of Apple's product lineup, the option to purchase a white iPhone 4 disappeared from the company's Website some time ago.

In a Jan. 30 studio talk with Engadget, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said he thought the white iPhone 4 would ship soon. "They're going to become available," he told the audience, after repeatedly suggesting that he had scarce information about Apple's inner workings. "All indications from Verizon and GSM suppliers" are that "white iPhones are coming."

Wozniak himself had a white iPhone 4 on his person, apparently assembled from parts ordered online. "It takes bad flash photos," he said. "The picture with flash was like taken through cellophane."

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.

The iPhone 4's body incorporates two panes of chemically strengthened alumino-silicate glass, rimmed by a stainless-steel antenna rim. Other sources have attributed the smartphone's delay to issues with whitening the glass to the desired thickness and opacity.

Even as Apple apparently readies to launch the white iPhone 4, the rumor mills have churned into high gear over details of the iPhone 5, expected to release this summer. According to alleged mold-engineering renderings posted on iDealsChina.com, the upcoming device features a 4-inch screen within a smartphone body the same size as the iPhone 4, a feat achieved by narrowing the side bezels. Whether that design proves accurate, though, will have to wait for either an actual leaked device or an official unveiling event.