Amid reports that iPhone 5 production is delayed until summer, Apple's long-delayed white iPhone 4 is on its way to retail stores.
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Slideshow: Verizon iPhone 4 Teardown
A number of retailers, including Best Buy, have set April 27 as the launch date for the iPhone 4 all dressed in white. The white iPhone 4 has been delayed nearly nine months--it was supposed to become available in July 2010. Citing manufacturing issues, Apple delayed the white iPhone 4 launch until the fall of 2010, and eventually said it wouldn't be available until the spring of 2011. Spring is here, and white iPhones are set to bloom.
Apple has yet to officially announce exactly when the white iPhone 4 will go on sale, but the inventory systems of retailers both in Europe and the U.S. suggest a simultaneous global launch on Wednesday. What will be different about the white iPhone 4 when compared to the black one? Aside from the color, nothing. It has all the same features and capabilities. It's just a different shade.
Even so, sales of the iPhone will pick up a bit in the short term once it becomes available, as at least a few people have held off on purchasing an iPhone because they wanted the white version. In years past, Apple has not charged a different price for white versions of the iPhone. A change in price is not expected for the white iPhone 4. The 16-GB model should cost $199 and the 32-GB model should cost $299. There's no word on which carriers in the U.S.--AT&T, Verizon Wireless, or both--will offer the white iPhone.
The launch of the white iPhone 4 comes at a very odd time for Apple. Apple appears to be ready to break the yearly update scheduled it has followed since the original iPhone's launch in June 2007. Apple announced the iPhone 3G for a late June 2008 launch, the iPhone 3GS for an early July 2009 launch, and the iPhone 4 for a late June 2010 launch.
This year, however, Apple made the Verizon iPhone 4 available in early February, and now the white iPhone 4 in late April. What do these launches mean for the iPhone 5?
Reuters recently reported that production of the next iPhone won't start until July or August. The later production date means the iPhone 5 (or whatever Apple is going to call it) won't be ready to sell until September. Apple hasn't confirmed the Reuters report.
Beyond the color, price and availability, several other interesting reports have surfaced of late that suggest the iPhone will eventually land on T-Mobile's network. Boy Genius Report claims to have a photo of a prototype iPhone running on T-Mobile's 3G network. For the iPhone to run on T-Mobile's 3G network, it would have to include a radio different from the one that's in the AT&T iPhone 4. Does that mean the iPhone is coming to T-Mobile next? Well, not necessarily.
BGR points out that the device image shows slightly different hardware than the current iPhone 4 and believes it may be a model built to test the radio. Further, it reports that its possible Apple is preparing one device for the entire North American market. This super-iPhone would include support for both AT&T and T-Mobile's 3G networks, as well as those operated by Verizon Wireless and Sprint. It could accomplish this by using Qualcomm's Gobi technology, which uses a radio that can be configured by software and changed to suit any network.
Until Apple gets around to announcing details about the iPhone, however, it won't be known which networks it will support.
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