The white iPhone 4 has been delayed because it can’t take good pictures, a source with connections at Apple tells me.
The white case leaks light back in — especially when the flash is used to take pictures.
On Tuesday, Apple said the white iPhone has been delayed until next spring.
This is the third time the white iPhone has been pushed back: first to July, then the end of the year and now to next spring.
Once again, Apple didn’t explain the delay. In the past, the company has said the white iPhone was “more challenging to manufacture than we originally expected.”
The delay is related to light leakage, as previously rumored. But it isn’t light leaking out from the iPhone, it’s light leaking back in.
The white iPhone 4 can’t take accurate photographs. The handset’s semi-translucent glass case leaks light in, ruining pictures taken with the internal camera, especially when the built-in flash is used.
“You don’t get accurate pictures on the white iPhone because of the color of the glass back. It washes out the pictures,” said a source with connections to Apple who asked to remain anonymous.
The source said Apple has been struggling to isolate the camera sensor. The problem may demand a complete redesign, they said, hence the string of delays.
The source said the problem only surfaced at the last minute at a secret testing facility Apple has set up for case manufacturers.
To qualify for Apple’s “Made for iPhone” program, case makers must prove that their cases don’t interfere with the iPhone’s ability to take photographs. Apple has strict rules for the width of the hole for the camera and flash.
It was only during testing of some early cases that the problem was found.
Apple has had no problem selling the black iPhone 4. Q4 sales rocketed 91 percent to 14.1 million handsets sold in 89 countries, earning Apple $8.6 billion.
The news debunks rumors that the white handset’s release is imminent.
Apple couldn’t be reached for comment.