The White iPhone 4 will cease to play hide-and-seek as Apple will start selling the elusive device by the end of this month.
Bloomberg reported that the White iPhone 4 will be available on both AT&T and Verizon networks.
Apple first announced the existence of the white iPhone 4 when it launched the iPhone 4 in June 2010. Since then Apple has missed two deadlines. The first one was in June 2010 with Apple linking the delay to complexity of manufacturing. Apple again postponed the White iPhone 4 launch in July 2010 until this year.
As time went by, the Apple White iPhone 4 continued to remain as elusive as a white tiger. The delay has been alluded to multiple reasons like manufacturing complexity, camera issues as a white case leaks, light back and supply chain issues.
However, in the light of recent reports that iPhone 5 will not be launched at the scheduled WWDC in June 2011. Apple used the same event last year to launch iPhone 4. It is learnt that Apple will use the occasion to launch the next iteration of iOS, the iOS 5.
The white iPhone launch can thus fill this void left by the delay of iPhone 5. Also since Apple recently launched the iPad 2 in white, the report of white iPhone release may hold credence.
One of the reasons why Apple could have extended the white iPhone 5's launch, after the initial delay caused due to manufacturing complexity, could be to maintain the cost/benefit advantage, as launching an exclusive white iPhone 4 later in 2010 would not have justified the costs.
But Apple is now in a position to charge a premium from customers for a white iPhone -- having created a sense of exclusivity about the product.
Another reason why Apple delayed the white iPhone is because post-CES, Android phones like Motorola Atrix, HTC Thunderbolt and Samsung Galaxy S II had set a new benchmark with dual-core chips, 4-inch screens, 1GB RAM and better video capture capacity.
Thus, launching a white iPhone sans these features will set Apple back. Hence, the white iPhone may possibly don the new A5 chip that Apple placed in its iPad 2.
It can also flaunt a bigger 4-inch screen as the rivals do and come in a slimmer format. Samsung Galaxy S2 is merely 8.5 mm (0.33 inch) thick while iPhone 4 is 9.3 mm (0.36 inch) thick. Recently, Apple slashed its iPad 2 to offer an ultra-thin iPad and it could further carry the slim factor into its iPhone 5. Apple has been progressively reducing its iPhone thickness; the iPhone 3G was 12.33mm thick while the iPhone 4 launched last year was 9.3mm thick. Thus, Apple could further make the white iPhone slimmer.
Another area where the white iPhone 4 may see upgrades is in camera quality. Samsung Galaxy S2 sports 8MP rear-facing and 2MP front-facing cameras, Motorola Atrix sports 5MP rear-facing and front-facing VGA cameras and HTC Thunderbolt offers 8MP rear and 1.3MP front-facing cameras. The iPhone 4 has 5MP rear and VGA front-facing cameras. It is possible that Apple may enhance the camera specifications to match its rivals now. The earlier iPhone 3G version had a 3MP camera which Apple increased to 5MP in iPhone 4.
WSJ recently reported that Apple will add an 8-megapixel (MP) rear-facing camera in its upcoming iPhone 5 which would be supplied by Sony. The teaser came from Sony CEO Howard Stringer who accidently told WSJ that the earthquake in Japan had damaged one of its key camera sensor factories in Japan which would affect the supply of sensors for iPhones or iPads.
Thus, while the coming of white iPhone 4 seems rather near, it will not merely be about color but also about multiple upgrades to match the rivals. The white iPhone will follow the iPad 2 strategy and will also be ergonomically enhanced with powerful specifications.