Contradicting reports that the white iPhone
4 was delayed by almost a year because of problems with light leaking onto the camera sensor, Apple’s Phil Schillar commented during the handset’s eventual release that the delay was necessary to give the handset some much needed “extra UV protection.”
Once he said that, everyone guessed the real issue: yellowing over time, a la some of the earlier and uglier white MacBooks. Now here’s the proof. Nick Bilton over at the New York Times
managed to get an original white iPhone 4 from a guy who knew a guy at the factory that made it. Paying $1000 bucks for his prize, he went about comparing models.
The results? The obvious ones, sure, especially regarding the camera and the proximity sensor, but while the new iPhone is pristine white, the year-old one is already looking like it was pulled out of someone’s ashtray. It’s already dirty and yellow.
releasing the white iPhone at this point, they’re doubtlessly reasonably certain that the new model isn’t going to be subject to the same problems. Still, as Wired’s own dirty and yellowing blogger Charlie Sorrel notes
, how did this happen in the first place? It’s not like Apple’s never made a white gadget before.