Apple has postponed the release ot its white iPhone 4 until later this year, the company said on Friday, conceding that making the model has proven surprisingly difficult.
"White models of Apple's new iPhone 4 have continued to be more challenging to manufacture than we originally expected, and as a result they will not be available until later this year," Apple said in a statement. The availability of the more popular iPhone 4 black models is not affected, the company added.
The newest iPhone, while selling quickly, has created a series of headaches for Apple, the biggest being the suggestion that its design was flawed because of a problem with the antenna.
Chief Executive Steve Jobs, at a rare press conference last week, defended the smartphone, but offered consumers free phone cases to address reception complaints. Apple on Friday began doling out the iPhone 4 bumpers. The free bumpers were made available through an application that could be downloaded to iPhones from Apple's online iTunes shop.
The bumper will be free to all buyers of the iPhone 4 through the end of September, and customers who have already purchased the case will be reimbursed.
Beginning this Friday, consumers can purchase iPhone 4 in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. iPhone 4 will be available for purchase through Apple?s retail and online stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.
iPhone 4 is currently available in France, Germany, Japan, the UK and the US for a suggested retail price of $199 (US) for the 16GB model and $299 (US) for the 32GB model. iPhone 4 will roll out to many more countries later this year and Apple will announce availability and local pricing for these additional countries at a later date.