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Real Reason Why the White iPhone 4 Is Delayed 182

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-phone-for-you dept.
tekgoblin writes "There have been numerous reasons why the White iPhone 4 may be delayed with one reason being the color mismatch between the home button and the body. Well this time there is another reason. A source has told CultofMac that the reason for the delay is a light leakage issue caused by the case being clear. Light from the case leaks into pictures taken by the back and front camera on the white iPhone 4, causing distorted pictures. This problem is non-existent on the black iPhone 4, because of its already black case, so Apple has been looking for a solution to this problem, thus the delay of the White iPhone 4 till spring of next year."
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Real Reason Why the White iPhone 4 Is Delayed

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  • Or could it be... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @03:56PM (#34042480)
    that they're redesigning the antenna?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rockoon (1252108)
      It think the most likely scenario here is that they are chasing profits.

      A further delay will push some of the I-want-white holdouts into buying an iPhone 4 now. Some of those same people will purchase a white one later.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Not likely. In addition to not qualifying for the subsidy on a later purchase ( 2 years), it's common knowledge that once you go black you'll never go back.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by cayenne8 (626475)
        Maybe it was delayed for a reason at first..then they found there's not that much a demand for white, and figured, "Hey..no real hurry here required".

        I can't imagine why anyone would want a white one.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by numbski (515011)

      I figured they were waiting for SHAtter to finally be disclosed so they could fix the bootrom, thus making the white iphone 4 invulnerable to jailbreaking. For a time.

      Since SHAtter wound up going undisclosed, now they're in a pickle. Either they go around fuzzing the usb ports looking for the SHAtter vulnerability themselves, which is time consuming, and gives no clear indication that they found the exact same vulnerability that pod2g found, or they find a way to bait the iphone devs into tipping their ha

  • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @03:57PM (#34042486)

    You are looking at it wrong.

  • The antenna (Score:2, Informative)

    by qoncept (599709)
    Don't you still need to put a case on an iPhone 4 to make it work worth a shit? Who cares what color the phone itself is?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Samalie (1016193)

      You know, in many ways it is kind of funny.

      I have an iPhone4. I'm also in Canada and on the Rogers network.

      Yes, "antennagate" is real. My house is far enough away from a tower that I can go from 3 bars to 0 just my lightly touching the magic little corner. So I got a case for it, which mostly mitigated the problem in my house...most of the time though, it was never an issue.

      I just went to the US (Southern California) and my iPhone was pratically un-useable, case or not. It was entirely useless as a phon

      • by H0p313ss (811249)

        I have an iPhone4. I'm also in Canada and on the Rogers network.

        ...

        I just went to the US (Southern California) and my iPhone was pratically un-useable, case or not. It was entirely useless as a phone, and mostly useless for any kind of data use. Basically, the fucker was a giant brick for all intents and purposes, at least as a communications device.

        Based on that...I still don't hate my iPhone...but I sure as fuck despise AT&T's shitty service.

        As a Rogers customer I'm constantly split between hating them for making me pay through the nose and loving them for having a kick-ass network.

      • I just went to the US (Southern California) and my iPhone was pratically un-useable, case or not. It was entirely useless as a phone, and mostly useless for any kind of data use. Basically, the fucker was a giant brick for all intents and purposes, at least as a communications device.

        You did take it out of Airplane Mode when you landed, did you not?

        Just checking.

  • Good on ya Apple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @03:57PM (#34042496)
    Fix it before you ship it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by recoiledsnake (879048)

      True but the fact that they've been unable to fix it for so many months(six+) does not bode well. It doesn't seem to be rocket science.

      • Re:Good on ya Apple (Score:5, Informative)

        by lowrydr310 (830514) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @04:09PM (#34042704)
        I'd rather a manufacturer delay a product launch until they get things absolutely right.

        HTC rushed the EVO out the door to meet demand, and their early releases had some serious hardware quality problems (light leakage around screen, screen separation, broken housing near power button, display problems, etc.) I'm not making this stuff up. I had to return THREE of my handsets before I got one that was good, and all three of those were Hardware Revision 003. I can't imagine what 001 and 002 were like.

        That's the price you pay for being an early adopter.
        • I got mine within the first couple days after launch, and I haven't seen any screen issues or display problems, but I haven't been able to have one of the body glove hard cases on it for more than a month without the case breaking on the top-right corner, near the volume and power buttons. The stress on the case always causes it to fail there.

      • It's one thing to fix the problem on one iPhone, quite another to ensure that you can do it cheaply enough, in an assembly line for millions of units.
    • by blair1q (305137)

      Or wait until people who bought the black one start to get that little chemical feeling of boredom in the back of their lizard brains and are willing to buy the white one to replace it.

    • I know you want to pat Apple on the back but let's be fair, Apple set lots of expectations. The first expectation is that Apple said at launch the white one would be available soon after the black one, and it's not. On one hand you have to make sure it's right, on the other hand you, you have the Duke Nukem Forever syndrome. You have to ship or cancel at some point. The second expectation that the iPhone 5, whatever that is, will be announced 3 months after the iPhone 4 white is now due out. April is t

      • Also keep in mind that no matter how they deal with the issue someone will still bitch, moan whine and complain about how they handled it. :)
  • Why do you need a white one, anyway?
    • by Hogwash McFly (678207) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @04:42PM (#34043116)

      So that millions of people can express their unique individuality.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Greguar (1225686)
      White with iPhones is a way of advertising that you have the more expensive model, as it historically only exists as an option for the top-end model. All of the people who know the difference will be totally impressed when they see it and will respect you and/or want to have sex with you.

      It's like wearing a fancy watch or paying for a drink with a hundred dollar bill at the bar. Visible signs of wealth trump personality and good looks.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jojoba_oil (1071932)

        Only Apple-lovers will know the significance to white vs. non-white. The rest will just assume that the iPhone being white was meant to match the ugly white ear-buds that came with it.

        I think a more visible sign of wealth is walking into an office full of suits when one is wearing jeans and a sweater, without anyone thinking it out of place... Which leads right into the idea behind bling: people without wealth are more concerned about their outward appearance than people with wealth. So cheap, shiny things

    • You know what they say, "Once you go black, you never go back".
      I still want to know who "they" are.
  • Distorted pictures? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Estanislao Martínez (203477) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @04:00PM (#34042536) Homepage

    Light from the case leaks into pictures taken by the back and front camera on the White iPhone 4 causing distorted pictures.

    Um, more like overexposed to hell. The camera basically can't regulate exposure if that's the case.

  • by iamvego (785090) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @04:00PM (#34042550)
    So this makes it into the big news on Slashdot... an explanation as to why an iPhone with a different case colour has been delayed. Next on Slashdot... the iPhone's shocking new button that's now a rounded square instead of a circle! I need to take the week off work to recover from the shock.
    • Re:This is news? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MightyYar (622222) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @04:28PM (#34042968)

      If it was a story on the introduction of a new color, I'd agree with you. But this is interesting to those of us who develop products because of the tech issues involved.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Greguar (1225686)
        It's interesting in that it's one of the cases where pursuit of an aesthetic has undermined functionality.

        I work at a university where its Industrial Design program is a pretty big deal, but it's plagued with projects that completely fail in usability (ie, a brushed metal and fogged glass "chair" that will explode into twisted shrapnel if more than 20lbs of load is applied). Strangely, the completely nonfunctional pieces tend to be awarded higher grades because they're more "daring" or have more "vision".
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by LordKronos (470910)

          It's interesting in that it's one of the cases where pursuit of an aesthetic has undermined functionality.

          I don't think that's quite how I'd put it. They haven't chose to ship with the flaws, so I don't think that's undermining anything. It's just R&D that has (so far) failed to come up with a viable product.

  • by JasoninKS (1783390)
    Things like this would be less of a "big deal" if Apple would just come out and admit to the problems. Be more straight-forward with the public, and they'll appreciate you and your company more. At least, that's how I figure it.
    • by mlts (1038732) *

      Even better, just pull the white option totally, and focus more efforts on the next generation of device.

      Let the iPhone 5 have two colors.

  • Not good enough. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LoudMusic (199347) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @04:02PM (#34042574)

    This 'story' smacks of hooey. An entire crock's worth, you might say. Opacity of plastic is not determined by its hue, to my knowledge. I think it has more to do with other performance faults they want to fix before delivering a 'new' product. Or perhaps sales of the previous white iPhones were stellar enough for them to care about doing it again.

    • by MaWeiTao (908546)

      I agree. I find it hard to believe it took Apple this long to notice and then address supposed issues with light leakage. I'm having trouble even seeing how this would even ever be a problem.

      Perhaps they decided they were going to try to address the broken glass issue, among others, before they release the white version. It would be rather stupid to go ahead and release alternate color knowing it's got all the problems plaguing the black version.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DragonWriter (970822)

        I find it hard to believe it took Apple this long to notice and then address supposed issues with light leakage.

        Considering that they failed to notice (at least, enough to do anything about it) the antenna problems on the iPhone 4 until after general release, I have no problem at all believing that Apple has serious problems, in general, identifying functional problems produced by styling decisions (perhaps, because they don't do sufficient real world testing with "production" styling, considering functionality and visual styling separate issues.)

        • by PapayaSF (721268)

          I have no problem at all believing that Apple has serious problems, in general, identifying functional problems produced by styling decisions

          Bingo. And I can guess the dynamic: Jobs wants things to look a certain way, and pushes the engineers hard. This produces some great designs, but occasional fails when Jobs overrode the warnings he got. Thus the beautiful Cube case that tended to grow cracks, the notorious round mouse, the iPhone 4 antenna, and maybe a few more.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Sponge Bath (413667)
        I've seen multiple reviews of iPhone 4 cases on Amazon with comments about some light colored cases causing reflection of the LED flash back into the lens. That would not explain problems with the front facing camera though.
      • I find it hard to believe it took Apple this long to notice and then address supposed issues with light leakage

        I thought "light leakage" was a side effect of Alli? [wikipedia.org]

        This explains how Steve Jobs lost all that weight...

    • Not to mention, what kind of idiot engineer would design a camera that relied on the opacity of its case, which to him isn't just a black box, but an as-of-yet-nonexistent box? I don't buy it.

      • by Lifyre (960576)

        You did see what they did with the Antenna right? I call it lucky they didn't ship it first.

      • I don't make consumer devices, but if I did, and I had a manager over my shoulder trying to squeeze every penny out of the unit cost, I wouldn't tell my mechanical engineer to design me an internal light shield for the CCD, just in case the product's outer case lets in a little light. I'd tell my mechanical engineer to incorporate suitable shielding into the outer case.

        Then a year later when management decides to develop a white version, but they aren't interested in paying for new tooling or adding more p

    • This 'story' smacks of hooey. An entire crock's worth, you might say. Opacity of plastic is not determined by its hue, to my knowledge.

      If the base polymer is essentially translucent, and the same element used to color it is also used to make it opaque, its quite likely that what is used to color it (which will be different based on the desired target color) will also affect the opacity. And, of course, if different base polymers are used for different case colors, that can also affect translucency.

      Without

    • by Bertie (87778)

      You'd have a point if it was plastic. But it's glass.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by e4g4 (533831)
      Plastic? I was under the impression that it's white paint on glass. I can see getting that to be completely opaque to be a moderately difficult task, particularly at the thicknesses they're working with.
    • by blair1q (305137)

      Given the same resins and concentration of colorant, the black one will transmit less light than the white one, because it will absorb more of the light entering the surface and convert it to heat rather than bouncing it from atom to atom.

      What smacks of hooey is that the solution to this problem is simply to put a rubber o-ring of appropriate thickness around each camera to duct it to the phone's surface. Which I'm surprised they don't do with the black one to reduce the chance of dust contamination over t

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by petermgreen (876956)

      Afaict most plastics in thier natural state (no pigments or dyes added) tend to be translucent.

      Black plastics are black because they have a pigment in them that absorbs lots of light (carbon black is a common one though not the only one). Once light is absorbed it's not going any further though the plastic.

      White plastics are white becase they have a pigment in them that scatters light. As that light is scattered a lot of it comes straight back out but some continues to bounce arround in the plastic potentia

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Love how everyone here is a fucking engineering expert.

    • I develop switch products for the automated test industry. One of our products, developed several years ago, uses solid-state relays (SSRs) to implement a matrix. The first batch of SSRs we got for R&D use had a white overmolded body.

      During development the original developer had problems with relays intermittently operating on their own (i.e. without the digital control system driving them). We correlated it to tests performed when the module was in its chassis versus on an extender card operating ou

  • by argmanah (616458) * <argmanah@yahoo.PLANCKcom minus physicist> on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @04:10PM (#34042722)
    Given how they approached the reception problems by giving away bumper cases, I would have fully expected them to give away black cases to cover up the white plastic.
  • Stupid (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EkriirkE (1075937) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @04:17PM (#34042798) Homepage

    Put a mirror finish/coating the inside of the white glass. This will block light and create an epic glow (enhance the whiteness) that apple fanboys can pray to.

    • If you could get the apple logo to glow on the back like that MacBooks do, I'd totally buy that.

      And maybe pray to it occasionally.

    • I'm thinking they are balancing "green" solutions with requirements. Titanium dioxide paint is quite opaque. But not necessarily a) cheap and b) "green".

      Your idea may have the same downside.

  • White noise (Score:4, Funny)

    by microbee (682094) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @04:24PM (#34042908)

    The press don't get it, do they? The reason is that so many people are already complaining about iPhone 4's signal issue, that the white version is only going to make it worse by introducing white noise.

    • by Nadaka (224565)

      The pigment used in most white glass is titanium dioxide... The same pigment is known to reduce radio signals in a room when used in paint. So you may actually not be that far off.

  • Light from the case leaks into pictures ... Apple has been looking for a solution to this problem

    Hm. A little slice of electrical tape somewhere inside ... problem solved.

  • by formfeed (703859) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @04:44PM (#34043144)
    JoyofTech had a convincing list of reasons the last time: http://www.geekculture.com/joyoftech/joyarchives/1422.html [geekculture.com]
  • The case can be an LCD and when the camera is activated it turns opaque. QED

    Mr. Jobs: You can credit my PayPal account directly. I know you're rich but I still don't accept personal checks.

    • The case can be an LCD and when the camera is activated it turns opaque. QED

      Mr. Jobs: You can credit my PayPal account directly. I know you're rich but I still don't accept personal checks.

      Unless you had that patented before you posted, it's just considered prior art now and free for anybody to use.

  • There is no way it is a marketing ploy to get people to buy a second iPhone 4 when the elusive "white" model is available because iPhone consumers are only interested in the raw features and functionality of the device. It has nothing to do with cosmetic looks, I guarantee it! I have a white 3GS :$
  • You're just holding it wrong!
  • "This problem is non-existent on the Black iPhone 4 because of its already black case so Apple has been looking for a solution to this problem thus the delay of the White iPhone 4 till spring of next year."

    Have some more sugar, why don't you!

    (read it in Pillsie's voice [youtube.com] for bonus points)

  • "Steve Jobs doesn't care about white cases"

Forty two.

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