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Wednesday, April 27, 2011, 12:45 pm PT (03:45 pm ET)

White iPhone 4 seen boosting sales by 1M-1.5M as Apple explains delay

With the white iPhone 4 finally set to go on sale in nearly 30 countries on Thursday, one new prediction calls for an incremental sales boost of between a million and 1.5 million per quarter. Also, Apple has offered some details behind the delay, including issues with protection from UV rays.

White iPhone 4 predicted to boost sales

Analyst Brian White with Ticonderoga Securities said on Wednesday that he sees the long-delayed white iPhone 4 playing a meaningful role in pushing iPhone sales even higher. Earlier this week, White had predicted that a "mystique" surrounding the device could lead to strong sales following a 10-month delay.

White made a more specific prediction on Wednesday, after Apple officially announced that the white iPhone 4 will finally go on sale on Thursday, April 27. The device, first announced last June but delayed numerous times due to production issues, will be available in 28 countries this week, and White believes it will bring in customers who might have otherwise passed on the iPhone 4.

"This delay has created a certain mystique and scarcity value around the 'white' iPhone 4 that we believe could drive incremental iPhone 4 purchases in the range of 1 million to 1.5 million units per quarter until the iPhone 5 potentially comes to market in September," he said.

Earlier this month, Apple reported a record 18.65 million iPhone sales in the second quarter of its 2011 fiscal year. Apple typically introduces a new iPhone in its June quarter, but this year numerous rumors have indicated that the company is planning a later-than-usual launch, with production of the fifth-generation iPhone apparently set to begin in September.

White iPhone 4


Phil Schiller explains reasons for white iPhone 4 delay

In an interview with Mobilized, Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller explained that there were a number of reasons why his company had such trouble in bringing the white iPhone 4 to market. One of those reasons was that the white models need more protection from ultraviolet rays from the sun.

"It was challenging," Schiller told Ina Fried. "It's not as simple as making something white. There's a lot more that goes into the material science of it — how it holds up over time... but also how it all works with the sensors."

Over the past year, a number of rumors related to white iPhone 4 issues have cropped up, including alleged problems with the paint mixture, camera flash, light leaks, and even the proximity sensor. Schiller's comments reveal that there were in fact a range of problems associated with building the white iPhone 4, lending support to previous rumors.