Why has Apple delayed the white iPhone 4?

Speculation is mounting over Apple’s decision to delay the launch of its white iPhone 4.

Why has Apple delayed the white iPhone 4?

Apple announced late on Friday that it was delaying the launch of the white iPhone 4 until “later this year”. The handset has “continued to be more challenging to manufacture that we originally expected,” Apple claimed in a brief statement, although didn’t elaborate on the difficulties.

Only a week earlier, at a press conference called to explain the iPhone 4’s reception issues, CEO Steve Jobs said the white iPhone would be on sale at the end of July.

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So what’s behind the latest delay? Several reports are suggesting that Apple has delayed the launch of the white iPhone 4 so that the company can work on an improved antenna design.

The company has offered customers free bumper cases to address the so-called “death grip” issue which sees the phone apparently lose reception when a finger is placed over the small gap between the handset’s dual antennas.

Apple has said it will review call data at the end of September to assess whether the bumper cases have solved the slight increase in dropped calls. Many believe this is the reason why Apple is holding back the launch of the second handset.

A report on Engadget suggests there might be more prosaic reasons. A source inside the company that makes the touchscreens for Apple’s handsets told the site that “the factory’s still working out the perfect combination of paint thickness and opacity – the former to ensure the next sub-contractor has enough clearance for the [screen’s] digitiser overlay, and the latter for the absolute whiteness that Jony Ive [Apple’s design guru] and co strive for.”

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