White iPhone 4 seen in the wild, but you can't have one

Boxes of white iPhones said to be stacked at Apple's HQ

The elusive White iPhone 4 was seen being held by a user, and the gadget Website that noticed has photos to prove it. But don't get your hopes up: the user says he got his through a friend at Apple, where boxes of white phones are stacked. The problem: a mismatch of white shades that has Apple CEO Steve Jobs in a snit.

The White iPhone 4, which is becoming as legendary as the White Buffalo or the White Unicorn, has been spotted in the wild. But you still can't get one. Unless you know someone at, or can break into, Apple's Cupertino, Calif. headquarters.

The intrepid gadgeteers at Pocket-lint.com, a U.K.-based device Web site, found someone using a white iPhone at a New York City press event (perhaps Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 launch?), and they have photos to prove it. Here's a link to one of them.

Network World's iPhone 4 Color Preference Poll (scroll down to the red polling box)

The phone's owner wouldn't give his name or any information about himself. But he did offer Pocket-lint some details about why the White iPhone is still not available, some five months after the release of its black companion, iPhone 4.

According to this user, boxes of the white phones are stacked at the Cupertino headquarters building. They're probably not in the hallways, or more of them would have "escaped." The user in New York got his through a friend at Apple, according to Pocket-lint. (More photos at Pocket-lint.)

The problem, according to this source's source, is that the white "home" button on the phone doesn't perfectly match the shade of white on the phone's front casing. So far, the suppliers haven't been able to correct the shading to the satisfaction of Apple's demanding and detail-obsessive CEO, Steve Jobs, according to the man with the mismatched white iPhone.

Apple announced in early July that the white model would be delayed until the end of that month, and then, at the end of the month, said it would be available "later this year." That still is the official world. At the time, Apple acknowledged that the white models "have continued to be more challenging to manufacture than we originally expected."

In August, there was a report of a white phone in Canada, but it was unclear if it was a production model, an early prototype, or a clever knock-off.  

But why settle for just white, or black? Take the Official Network World iPhone 4 Color Preference Poll (scroll down to the  red poll box).

John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World. 

Twitter: http://twitter.com/johnwcoxnww

Email: john_cox@nww.com

Blog RSS feed: http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/2989/feed

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