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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.
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.