updated 11:15 pm EDT, Sun July 18, 2010
Firm may only meet half Apple's white iPhone needs
The reasons behind the month-long delay in delivering white iPhone 4 units may have been provided in a report from this Saturday. The 21st Century Herald explained that Lens Technology, believed to be the contractor, is having difficulty reliably getting the right opacity and thickness for the pure white paint that Apple wants on the glass panels. The setback, along with other obstacles, has reportedly left Lens' production at just half the necessary level, or about three panels per hour.
Apple's decision to postpone the different color was likely to build up enough of a supply at the reduced rate that it could have normal supply for at least the short term, also buying time for Lens to improve its consistency. The supply issue is unique to Apple, as most phones rely on plastic that is relatively easy to color. Both the front and the back not only use glass but have matching colors where the iPhone 3G and 3GS both only needed a single plastic shell.
Neither Apple nor Lens has confirmed the explanations. [via Engadget]