White iPhone 4 owner explains delayed Apple release date in NYC elevator

White iPhone 4 (williamhook @ flickr)
By Richi Jennings. October 15, 2010.

Why are we still waiting for Apple to sell us the fabled white iPhone 4? Doesn't Steve Jobs know people need it to match their outfits? Well, here's a strong indication why, plus speculation about the ultimate release date. When cornered in an elevator in a midtown NYC building, a man holding a white iPhone 4 offered an explanation for Apple's failure to-date. It seems that many of the white versions were made, but they all failed quality-control on aesthetic grounds. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers are shocked -- SHOCKED -- to find perfectionism in Cupertino.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention the Inexplicable Rapture Monster...


Stuart Miles sticks, resolutely, to British English:

We were in a lift at a press event in New York City, when we spotted a white iPhone 4. ... We went and talked to the owner to see why and how he had [it]. ... It turns out that ... Apple's HQ in Cupertino is swimming with white iPhones ... he had a mate that "fixed him up" with his.


Apple is having trouble getting its two suppliers ... to match the white used in the manufacturing. ... The white home button colour doesn't match the white front face plate colour.

A breathless Sal Cangeloso also saw it:

I spotted one of the rarest and most sought after handsets ever. ... It was in use, not under glass or held by a high ranking Apple official. ... [He] wasn’t an Apple employee but was able to call in a favor from one.


Matching ... the white must have been enough of a challenge that Apple’s quality control never approved the phone.

Tony Smith says it, "Helps to have a mate working for Apple":

It has been said by Apple in the past that manufacturing difficulties were to blame.


Of course, what's not clear is whether Apple now has good, colour-matched white iPhone 4s - or is just handing staff early, rejected-for-sale manufacturing output. We know which of the two we think it is...

Matt Brian talks from the talking points:

Apple being the perfectionists they are will not release the devices until the colour is as perfect as it can possibly be.


They are the exact issues that have been discussed on tech sites over past months, we see no reason to disbelieve the rumour.

But Mark Jones wonders what all the fuss is about:

The white version ... has been previously spotted in the hands of celebrities such as Stephen Fry. ... Despite it being purely superficial it still seems to be a highly desirable modification.


It seems odd that Apple would spend so much time perfecting the colour of the paint job considering the other flaws ... [that] have become apparent. ... Other companies such as Samsung seem to have no problem with their paint jobs ... [it] recently released a white version of its Fascinate handset.

  And David W. Martin's sarcasm knows no bounds:

Great huh? I don’t know about you, but I’ll make an assumption that many of you won’t care if the Home button is slightly darker or lighter than the rest of the iPhone.


This problem is probably a huge affront to Steve Jobs who's known to be a big perfectionist.

So Darrell Etherington looks ahead to next week:

We’ve got a major Apple event coming up next week. What better time to announce a white Christmas for customers? ... If the phone is ready for mass consumption, we’ll see it unveiled there. If it isn’t, chances grow slimmer still that we’ll see a white iPhone 4 at all.

Meanwhile, Eric Calouro can't figure it out:

Why Apple couldn’t have moved to their preferred supplier and eliminated the “bad egg” is beyond us.


So if you want a white iPhone 4, get at friend in Cupertino.


And Finally...

Panasonic: Inexplicable Rapture Monster

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: itbw@richij.com.

You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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