Enough already. I'm sick of hearing about the mythical and mysterious white iPhone 4, the Loch Ness Monster of handsets. After 10 months of speculation, I really don't care. Aside from being white, it has no special attributes that can't be found it its black-clad sibling. Unless, of course, Apple adds solar panels or a teleportation app to the white model, which seems unlikely at this point.
No, the white iPhone 4's extraordinary attribute is that, well, it's white. And it has been delayed--again and again and again.
If you've been following the Saga of the White iPhone 4, you know the backstory. The handset was supposed to ship in July 2010, only to be put on hold multiple times. The latest rumor, courtesy of Bloomberg, is that the white model will finally ship by the end of April. Hurrah!
But at this point, who cares? The iPhone 5, whether it debuts in the summer or fall, is right around the corner. Why anyone would buy an iPhone 4 right now, rather than wait a few months for the new and improved model, escapes me. Then again, the Verizon Wireless edition of the iPhone 4, which arrived just two months ago, is selling well, so apparently some people aren't big on delayed gratification.
I'm sure there will be a white iPhone 5, and odds are good it'll ship right away--much like the white iPad 2 did when it debuted in March. I say this because Apple is too smart to repeat the same boneheaded mistake with the next iPhone.
Not Too Late
Why would Apple ship the white model this late in the iPhone 4's lifecycle? Because people will buy it, of course, and that's a good enough reason. And like the iPhone 3GS, which now sells for only $49 with a two-year AT&T contract, the iPhone 4 may live on as the bargain alternative to the iPhone 5. Assuming that's the case, Apple may very well sell millions of white iPhone 4s.
I really shouldn't blame Apple for all the white iPhone 4 headlines. The company is notoriously uncommunicative with the news media, and it never discusses its upcoming products. What's fascinating here is that so much reportage in the past year has been devoted to the color of a particular smartphone. That speaks to sway Apple holds over the press and public. Could you imagine an endless serious of breathless updates concerning the mysteriously-delayed mauve Motorola Atrix 4G? Or how about the turquoise Samsung Galaxy S 4G?
You wouldn't see those reports because, frankly, nobody would care. The iPhone? Well, that's a different story. Personally, I couldn't care less about the white iPhone 4, but apparently a lot of people feel otherwise. Ah, Apple, how do you do it?