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Wednesday, June 23, 2010, 11:10 am PT (02:10 pm ET)

Apple says white iPhone 4 won't arrive until late July

Apple on Wednesday released an official statement on availability of the white iPhone 4, noting that production of the device proved difficult, pushing its release back to late July.

"White models of Apple's new iPhone 4 have proven more challenging to manufacture than expected, and as a result they will not be available until the second half of July," the company said in a statement. "The availability of the more popular iPhone 4 black models is not affected."

The announcement kills any hope customers might have had of obtaining the white handset on launch day. Earlier this week, it was revealed that Best Buy had ordered at least 10 white iPhone 4 models for its stores, stirring up suggestions that Apple might have limited availability for Thursday's launch.

Apple never allowed customers to prepurchase the white iPhone 4, stating on its website that the model is currently unavailable for preorder or in-store pickup. In addition, AT&T's site listed the white model as "coming soon."

Pictures of the white iPhone 4 first surfaced before the hardware was even officially announced by Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs earlier this month.

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Indications that the white iPhone 4 would not be available at launch surfaced before preorders even began. A leaked memo from AT&T listed both the 16GB and 32GB capacities as available for purchase "later this summer."

On launch day around 4 p.m., Best Buy halted preorders of the white model. The retailer did so after it was asked by Apple to cease reservations for that model. Best Buy then ceased all preorders, including those for the black model, on June 16.