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Wednesday, April 13, 2011, 05:05 pm PT (08:05 pm ET)

Apple's white iPhone 4 coming in 'next few weeks' [u]

A new report claims that Apple will finally begin selling the white iPhone 4 by the end of April after having resolved manufacturing challenges that resulted in a 10-month delay.

Citing people familiar with Apple's plans, Bloomberg reported Wednesday that the white iPhone is nearly ready for launch on both AT&T and Verizon, corroborating an earlier report from AppleInsider that the device would launch in April.

Update: Reuters reported on Thursday that Apple's suppliers have begun production of the white iPhone 4, according to "two people familiar with the situation."

In March, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told AppleInsider that a full-lamination problem had prompted necessary changes to the film material on the white iPhone 4, resulting in a now 10-month delay.

The report also tracks with a Twitter message posted by Apple VP Phil Schiller last month. "The white iPhone will be available this spring (and it is a beauty!)," Schiller said.

Earlier this year, AppleInsider learned that Apple had turned to a Japanese company to craft a new paint material in order to overcome the manufacturing problems of the white iPhone 4.

White iPhone 4


Apple repeatedly delayed the product in 2010, citing manufacturing issues. Last October, the company announced that the white iPhone 4 would not arrive until spring 2011.

The extended delay of the white iPhone 4 has prompted speculation that Apple will hold off on releasing a redesigned iPhone this summer. Numerous rumors have now suggested that Apple will instead release the so-called iPhone 5 this fall, with one report suggesting that Apple would not release a next-generation iPhone until after Apple's fiscal 2012 begins in late September.

The Feb. 10 release of the CDMA iPhone 4 on Verizon has also fueled rumors that Apple will choose not to refresh the iPhone this summer. Pundits questioned whether an iPhone update just 4 to 5 months after the Verizon iPhone launch would anger customers who signed 2-year contracts.

The Cupertino, Calif., iPhone maker has historically released a new version of its bestselling smartphone every summer in June or July. Last week, analyst Brian White with Ticonderoga Securities noted that Apple is "keeping its iPhone 5 cards extra close to the vest" in order to avoid a slump in iPhone 4 demand ahead of a refresh.

Insiders connected to Taiwan-based touch panel makers indicated Wednesday that Apple has yet to provide them with a production roadmap for the next iPhone. The sources were split, however, as to the interpretation of the situation. Some believe that Apple will release a slightly modified iPhone 4 this summer, while others speculated that a "major overhaul" would come at a later date.