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Improved paint mix eases Apple's white iPhone 4 woes - sources

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Apple has partnered with a Japanese company to develop a new material that could allow it to finally release the long-delayed white iPhone 4, AppleInsider has been told.

People close to Apple's Far Eastern partners said this week that a unnamed Japanese company has crafted a new paint material at the iPhone maker's request that allows for greater control and precision when it comes to the thickness of the paint layer being applied to the handsets. With this material, Apple has apparently been able to successfully manufacture white iPhone 4 that meet its high level of standards.

Using earlier painting methods, Apple's attempts to manufacture the white iPhone 4 were said to have resulted in a "huge" number of defective handsets. The percentage was said to be so high that Apple simply could not proceed with manufacturing of the white iPhone 4 until a solution was produced.

Though the yield rate of the new process for building the white iPhone 4 is said to be improved, those same people said it was uncertain just how much. Because of this, it remains unclear whether the white iPhone 4 is in fact on track for a spring release, though those privy to details surrounding the matter say the advent of the new paint technology saved Apple from having to abandon plans for the model.

Regardless, the message is clear that Apple has not given up hope on manufacturing a white version of the iPhone 4, even as an anticipated launch of a fifth-generation iPhone in June looms.

Internal stock listings from AT&T and Best Buy have only recently suggested that Apple is finally gearing up for a launch of the white iPhone 4 in earnest, with the latter listing an in-stock date of Feb. 27. But it's unknown whether those listings are based on actual information, or are simply placeholders derived from Apple's statement that the white iPhone 4 would launch in Spring 2011.



That most recent delay was announced by Apple in October, when the company again confirmed that it continues to experience issues in manufacturing the white iPhone 4. Spring does not officially start until March 20, 2011 -- 9 months after the iPhone 4 went on sale.

Even without options for a color other than black, the iPhone 4 has been Apple's best selling handset yet, reaching 16.2 million units last quarter alone. Executives from the Cupertino, Calif., company revealed last week that they would have sold many more handsets if they had been able to keep up with overwhelming demand.

"We continue to have a sizable backlog, and believe we could have sold even more iPhones if we had been able to supply them," Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said in his company's quarterly earnings conference call.

Though the white iPhone 4 is not officially available for sale, some have been custom built with parts allegedly leaked from Apple's overseas supply chain. Among those who own a custom white iPhone 4 is Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.
post #2 of 24
Just don't paint it that way.
post #3 of 24
Just cancel the damn thing for the iPhone 4. Begin anew in generation 5.
post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Just cancel the damn thing for the iPhone 4. Begin anew in generation 5.

Yup, those workers will have to say goodbye to their lunar new year vacation for another year.
--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
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--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
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post #5 of 24
Does someone really still want a white one? And if so, why? I know they would be different...for about a week until there are millions of them everywhere, then it loses its supposed charm. Don't most people just buy a case anyway? How about a white case people? If I were Steve I would have canned this white iphone business a long time ago.
post #6 of 24
I imagine its just a matter of pride and stubbornness now, they certainly don't need to make a white one, and it won't net them a huge number of sales; they're just pissed that the damn paint has caused them so much of a problem, so they will beat it.

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post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

Does someone really still want a white one? .

My friend in Austria says that the black iPhones absorb too much heat when exposed to direct sunlight.
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

Does someone really still want a white one? And if so, why? I know they would be different...for about a week until there are millions of them everywhere, then it loses its supposed charm. Don't most people just buy a case anyway? How about a white case people? If I were Steve I would have canned this white iphone business a long time ago.

I do. I got a black iPhone 4 because the white wasn't available. I won't be getting one until my contract expires next year. I don't use a case on my phone, I use a clear protector. As per why someone would want a white one? I can only speak for myself and my reason is nostalgia for the original iPod. Is that a good reason? Who cares! I just want one.
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

Does someone really still want a white one? And if so, why? I know they would be different...for about a week until there are millions of them everywhere, then it loses its supposed charm. Don't most people just buy a case anyway? How about a white case people? If I were Steve I would have canned this white iphone business a long time ago.

I'm getting a white iP5 for the mrs.
In a world of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
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In a world of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
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post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaweston View Post

My friend in Austria says that the black iPhones absorb too much heat when exposed to direct sunlight.

Hmm... I think anything exposed to direct sunlight will get hot(ter) regardless.
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by eehd View Post

I do. I got a black iPhone 4 because the white wasn't available. I won't be getting one until my contract expires next year. I don't use a case on my phone, I use a clear protector. As per why someone would want a white one? I can only speak for myself and my reason is nostalgia for the original iPod. Is that a good reason? Who cares! I just want one.

I care...and no that isn't a good reason. I'm kidding, do what you want. It's just surprising that anyone still has the desire given all the delays. It would have broken my will a long time ago if i were in the white iPhone camp. I hope you enjoy it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by joe in miami View Post

I'm getting a white iP5 for the mrs.

Hmmm, well not to mess with your plan, but I am hoping that the rumor of a redesign is true and they go with something other than glass on the back. Of course I suppose they could still offer a white front glass, so we could both get what we want. Is it June yet? Dammit
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Just cancel the damn thing for the iPhone 4. Begin anew in generation 5.

I agree- embarassing- who cares about a white iPhone 4 anymore?
Lesson learned- never make promises that you can't keep.
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by eehd View Post

I do. I got a black iPhone 4 because the white wasn't available. I won't be getting one until my contract expires next year. I don't use a case on my phone, I use a clear protector. As per why someone would want a white one? I can only speak for myself and my reason is nostalgia for the original iPod. Is that a good reason? Who cares! I just want one.

You want one NOW?? Like an Oompa- Loompa?
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaweston View Post

My friend in Austria says that the black iPhones absorb too much heat when exposed to direct sunlight.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we've only read about this thing called "Direct Sunlight". The black iPhones work fine for us!
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

People close to Apple's Far Eastern partners said this week that a unnamed Japanese company has crafted a new paint material at the iPhone maker's request that allows for greater control and precision when it comes to the thickness of the paint layer being applied to the handsets. With this material, Apple has apparently been able to successfully manufacture white iPhone 4 that meet its high level of standards.

I find it strange how Apple put so much effort into certain areas with technical problems and not others. Like finding ways to reduce glare in the glass in everything they sell including the iPhone so that the devices are more usable in daylight. That's way more important than making a white model.

The problem with the camera could surely have been solved by just isolating the lens from the white surrounds. It seems like overkill to delay it by months and source new paint manufacturers.
post #16 of 24
[QUOTE=DJinTX;1793829]I care...and no that isn't a good reason. I'm kidding, do what you want. It's just surprising that anyone still has the desire given all the delays. It would have broken my will a long time ago if i were in the white iPhone camp. I hope you enjoy it.

It did break my will. That's why I'm waiting until my contract ends next year. \
post #17 of 24
the whole White iPhone Debacle seems like a hoax, intended to spin up even more press about unquenched demand for phones. just 5 months before releasing 4's successor, they're revving up the rumor mill about the wayward great white hope? seems silly they would devote resource to actually making & distributing this phone now - but clever to keep the rumors flying, which costs nothing. Whatevs.
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

Does someone really still want a white one? And if so, why? I know they would be different...for about a week until there are millions of them everywhere, then it loses its supposed charm. Don't most people just buy a case anyway? How about a white case people? If I were Steve I would have canned this white iphone business a long time ago.

That brings up an interesting point, back during the antenna gate discussions, there was a survey that said ~70 percent have cases anyway(reciting from my poor memory so forgive please if not correct). Seems like a lot a trouble to just be 'aesthetic'.

For me personally, I don't use a case, so I would like more color options.
Nice midnight blue please.
Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster by your side, kid.
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Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster by your side, kid.
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post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post

That brings up an interesting point, back during the antenna gate discussions, there was a survey that said ~70 percent have cases anyway(reciting from my poor memory so forgive please if not correct). Seems like a lot a trouble to just be 'aesthetic'.

For me personally, I don't use a case, so I would like more color options.
Nice midnight blue please.

I agree...I love midnight blue. Most dark colors i think would look good, but white just reminds me of this old samsung slider phone that my wife had forever. It was so cheap and plastic-y.
post #20 of 24
The incremental costs for Apple to bring a white iPhone to market -- manufacturing, logistics, distribution, marketing -- are so low that it would be silly of them not to do it if it's good to go.
post #21 of 24
I asked this before but did not see any replies: Are there any markets where a white iPhone might be preferred to black.

I know in audio some years back, several manufacturers offered brushed gold (Marantz) or brushed silver (Denon) in Europe & Asia even though they only offered black in the US. There was apparently demand for these colors in these markets. Is it possibly the same with the iPhone?
post #22 of 24
Yes I want I white one. Because I want to be different. The white has never seemed to sell as well as the black. But that could change with this design.

This is what it looks like in a bumper case. A white case on a black phone would not look like this.




Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

Does someone really still want a white one? And if so, why? I know they would be different...for about a week until there are millions of them everywhere, then it loses its supposed charm. Don't most people just buy a case anyway? How about a white case people? If I were Steve I would have canned this white iphone business a long time ago.
post #23 of 24
It's paint.

It's white.

Someone must have really screwed up at Apple for this fiasco to last this long. Other manufacturers have white phones out already.
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by MOEW View Post

It's paint.

It's white.

Someone must have really screwed up at Apple for this fiasco to last this long. Other manufacturers have white phones out already.

So did Apple with previous generations. I'd guess it's got something to do with the combination of glass on the back and the type of paint they use under it. Total internal reflection might be bouncing the intense light from the LED back into the lens but the black paint will absorb the light instead. With some Magic Paintâ„¢ everything will be just fine.

Of course with some magic alloy, it can be easier next time round.
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