Apple Inc. will begin selling a white model of the iPhone 4 in the next few weeks after a 10- month delay, according to three people familiar with the plans.
The new version will be available from AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless by the end of April, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. The release was stalled as Apple resolved manufacturing challenges, including paint that peeled under heat, one person said.
An Apple Inc. logo hangs above the entrance at the Fifth Avenue store in New York. (Bloomberg)
Adding a white model to the black-only lineup may help spur demand before Apple can release the next generation of its top- selling product. Apple, the world’s largest technology company by market capitalization, isn’t planning to unveil a new iPhone at its June developers’ conference, the occasion for previous launches, two people familiar with the matter said. It may instead introduce the next iPhone in September, according to Mike Abramsky, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets in Toronto.
After releasing the iPhone 4 in June, Apple announced the delay of a white version because of unspecified manufacturing trouble. Production was also delayed because of complications with a sensor used in the device, one of the people said.
Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of marketing, hinted last month that a white model would be available soon, writing on Twitter it would be on sale by Spring.
Since the introduction of the iPod in 2001, white has been a popular color for Apple’s handheld gadgets. The iPhone 3GS was available in the color, as is the iPad 2, which went on sale last month.
The iPhone accounted for 39 percent of sales in the first- quarter. Apple is due to report second-quarter financial results on April 20.
Apple, based in Cupertino, California, rose $3.73 to $336.13 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The shares have advanced 4.2 percent this year. AT&T, based in Dallas, slipped 29 cents to $30.18 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.