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Thursday, December 09, 2010, 07:15 pm PT (10:15 pm ET)

Briefly: Woz's white iPhone 4, CDMA engineers, WP7 developer changes

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak recently revealed that he has a white iPhone 4 that he modified himself using parts ordered online, while Apple has posted job listings for more engineers familiar with CDMA. Meanwhile, Microsoft moved up its pay date for Windows Phone 7 developers to January and added reporting tools for developers to keep track of app download statistics.

White iPhone 4

During last week's tour of the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley, Wozniak revealed a white iPhone 4 to journalists. At first, speculation arose that Wozniak had obtained the unreleased device through his close connections to Apple.

However, Wozniak told CNN in an email that the handset was "modded," and had a few defects. As a result, Wozniak, who admitted he sometimes carries up to 10 phones with him, also has a black iPhone 4.

In response to suggestions that he purchased a modification kit from the New York high school student who gained notoriety when it was revealed that he had made as much as $130,000 from his white iPhone 4 modification kit, Wozniak wrote, "I saw a post and got in quick and ordered my set of parts."

Apple has repeatedly delayed the release of the white iPhone 4, most recently until "Spring 2011." The manufacturing process has proven "more challenging" than expected, Apple said in June. Some rumors suggest that Apple is having trouble with achieving the desired shade of white, while others point to light leaks on the rear camera as the reason for the delay.

CDMA job posting

According to recent postings on Apple's job website, the Cupertino, Calif., company is looking for more engineers with CDMA expertise. One position, Cellular Systems Performance Engineer, requires the candidate be familiar with the following cellular technologies: GSM, GPRS, EDGE, WCDMA, HSDPA, HSUPA, CDMA. Given that Apple's iPhone already supports all of the listed technologies except CDMA, the job posting has led some to speculate that a CDMA-capable Verizon iPhone is on its way.

Apple hiring engineers with CDMA experience is not new, however. AppleInsider reported in 2008 that Apple was hiring testing and certification engineers with CDMA network experience as part of a global multi-carrier strategy. A search for "CDMA" on Apple's job website displays over 10 positions posted as far back as September 2008.

On Monday, analyst Shaw Wu with Kaufman Bros. wrote in a note to investors that Verizon may be "more willing to give in to Apple's terms" in order to gain shared exclusivity with AT&T, going so far as to pay a hefty sum to prevent T-Mobile USA and Sprint from getting the iPhone as well.

Verizon is widely expected to begin selling the iPhone in early 2011.

Windows Phone 7

In response to requests from developers, Microsoft announced Thursday that it has moved up payouts for Windows Phone 7 applications and has begun providing app performance reporting data to developers. The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant drew criticism from Windows Phone 7 developers last month for withholding developer payments until February 2011 and lacking app store analytics.

Developers will now receive the first payments for app downloads in January. Download and transaction reporting information for developers' apps are available as of Thursday. Microsoft now has 18,000 registered WP7 developers and nearly 4,000 apps available. By comparison, Apple has over 300,000 apps in its App Store.

Microsoft's secrecy led some pundits to believe that the company was trying to delay publishing sales figures for the Windows Phone 7 launch, which was characterized as underwhelming and lackluster. That belief was further reinforced this week when Joe Belfiore, Microsoft's director of Windows Phone Program Management, refused to talk numbers during an interview at the D: Dive Into Mobile conference. Belfiore claimed it was "too soon" to discuss sales figures. When pressed, he admitted that Windows Phone 7 could take as long as 2 years to "get back into the market" and compete with Apple and Google.