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With last week's press conference and the drama consuming Apple-watchers' attention around the world, not much truck has been paid to the whereabouts of the white iPhone 4 of late. Fortunately, Engadget has taken the time to explore what's been holding up the release of the white iteration of the handset. What does their Magic Eightball tell them?
All signs lead to glass manufacturing troubles.
According to Engadget, Chinese company Lens Technology, the manufacturer responsible for putting together the iPhone 4's glass panels, is having difficulties painting them white. From what an inside source at the company has to say, there's a lot more involved in the process than simply slapping some paint on with a brush. Once the panels go through the complicated process of being cut, milled, and sanded, they are polished and cleaned. Only then can they be sent along for coating and screen printing. Out of all of this, the devil is in the details surrounding the coating.
Engadget's source suggests that Lens Technology's quality control department was not satisfied with the quality of the panel's paint thickness and opacity. Why are these things important? If you've ever tried painting white over a blue wall, you'll understand the situation. If the paint coating isn't thick enough, the colour underneath with either show through or the tone of white will be darker than desired. Add to this the fact that if the pain on the panel is too thick, then the silkscreening of the Apple logo and the phone's detail's on the back panel will not go over as intended.
That's a lot of variables that need to be kept straight in order to crank out a white iPhone 4. At least those holding out for a white iPhone 4 know why it's taking so long. No word yet on whether or not Apple will be taking pre-orders for the device.