After 10 months of rumors, announcements, innuendo, accidental listings and reassurances from Apple (AAPL), a new report from Bloomberg says we’re only weeks from seeing a white iPhone 4 on store shelves.
Phil Schiller, senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing at Apple, announced in March via Twitter that the iPhone equivalent of a unicorn would seriously, finally, be available this spring. Well, spring is, uh, now, and unnamed sources have told Bloomberg that Steve Jobs has seen his shadow and the white iPhone will be upon us by the end of the month.
Bloomberg’s sources say that it has been technical difficulties that have put the yeti of the iPhone on ice. Manufacturing issues got in the way, it seems, including struggles with paint peeling under heat.
If the white iPhone does show up in more than just blurry photos and hazy eyewitness accounts, it’ll definitely spin up the rumor mill that’s already working overtime on iPhone 5 rumors. We just told you about how Taiwanese manufacturers claim they’re still producing touch panels for the iPhone 4 with no word yet on starting to manufacture the iPhone 5; Bloomberg reiterates that point, citing more "unnamed sources" that say we shouldn’t expect Apple to announce a new generation iPhone in June as it usually does. How long the wait will be, though, is up for debate.
But like the Verizon (VZ) iPhone, one has to wonder just how popular the white iPhone 4 will be given Apple’s yearly product release cycle -- or, if finally releasing the great white hype really is a greater indication of what’s going on with the future of the iPhone.
Apple released the iPhone 4 for Verizon in February, about halfway through the annual cycle (back when the universe was still pegging the iPhone 5’s release for June), and while sales of the Verizon version are good, they certainly would have been better if many customers, especially AT&T (T) customers dissatisfied with their service, didn’t think waiting for the next generation phone was a more prudent move.
So, is white really that big of a deal, or is this Apple’s way of tossing customers a few crumbs since it’ll be a long time before the iPhone 5 main course makes it to the table? White is apparently pretty popular with customers -- see the iPad 2 and its white version, available as soon as the tablet was released -- and it certainly matters to members of the press, judging by how prolific white iPhone 4 stories are around the Internet.
But at this point, telling us the iPhone Bigfoot really does exist seems more like a distraction on Apple’s part from the lack of an iPhone 5, rather than providing customers with something they really want.