White iPhone Needed Sunscreen - Challenges Explained

Color goes more than skin deep, at least for the iPhone. Apple has explained some of the challenges that caused delay after delay for the device. Apple had announced plans to make the iPhone 4 in both black and white, and in fact had the white phone on hand at the product announcement, but found the white color a challenge. The color effected the internal components, as well as needing more protection from the sun. The company has said that the modifications they made for the white device will benefit them with the iPad as well.

There had been questions about whether Apple had given up on the white phone altogether, and then sightings in the UK, and even on eBay yesterday. Now that it is actually, for sure, for reals going to be in stores tomorrow, we get a bit of insight into why the delays.

"It was challenging," Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller said during a joint interview with CEO Steve Jobs on Wednesday. "It's not as simple as making something white. There's a lot more that goes into both the material science of it–how it holds up over time... but also in how it all works with the sensors."

It turned out there were many unexpected interactions between the color of the device and various internal components. The white color also made it more sensitive to the sun, needing more UV protection.

"We thought we were there a year ago, or less than that, when we launched the iPhone 4 and we weren't," Schiller said. Waiting for release of the elusive white device has assured that it will live up to expectations he said.

Steve Jobs noted that the extra work that Apple had to do to get the white iPhone ready will benefit the company in the future. "We obviously think about this in a generic way because you have a white iPad," Jobs said, toward the end of the interview.

So are you getting a white iPhone? Do you care?

[via All Things Digital]