Apple Inc. (AAPL) will start selling a white version of its iPhone 4 in the next few weeks, following a 10-month delay, three people with knowledge of the plans said.
The new model will be available from AT&T Inc. (T) 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.
Adding a white model may help spur demand as Apple works on the next generation of its top-selling product. Apple, the world’s largest technology company by market value, isn’t planning to unveil a new iPhone at its June developers’ conference, breaking with its practice in past years, 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 the white version, citing unspecified manufacturing trouble. Complications with a sensor used in the device was one difficulty, one of the people said. Until now, it’s only been available in black.
Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of marketing, indicated last month that a white model would be available soon, writing on Twitter that it would be on sale by spring.
Since the introduction of the first iPod media player in 2001, white has been a popular color for Apple’s gadgets. The earlier iPhone 3GS model was available in white, as is the iPad 2, which went on sale last month.
The iPhone accounted for 39 percent of Apple’s sales in the fiscal first quarter, which ended in December. The Cupertino, California-based company is due to report second-quarter financial results on April 20.
Apple fell $3.71 to $332.42 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The shares have advanced 3.1 percent this year. AT&T, based in Dallas, rose 11 cents to $30.29 on the New York Stock Exchange, and has gained 3.1 percent this year.
To contact the reporters on this story: Tim Culpan in Hong Kong at email@example.com; Adam Satariano in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.org; Greg Bensinger in New York at email@example.com