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Is the White iPhone DOA?

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Have you been holding out on iPhone 4 until Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) gets around to releasing the white version? You're in luck -- the official word is that the model hasn't been canceled after all. Yay!       

Apple stores nationwide are getting some new signage installed right about now, and the fine print on the iPhone posters includes the following tidbit: "The white iPhone 4 will be available spring 2011." So there you have it, straight from the black turtleneck.

But is it even worth the trouble for Apple to push this item through to store shelves? I'm not so sure. "Spring 2011" is potentially just a few weeks away from the expected release of the iPhone 5, iPhone 4G, or whatever the next version will be called. Will the Apple faithful really buy a late-model phone in a new color and then get excited again for the improvements in the next version that close together?

We shall see. All we know for know is that the white iPhone 4 is coming after all. The 2011 version could be packed with such lust-inducing wonders that even a five-week-old phone looks ready for retirement, and I wouldn't put it past Steve Jobs to aim for that level of shock-and-awe perfection. It's anyone's guess what these improvements would entail, though early speculation has pointed to built-in projectors of the kind Microvision (Nasdaq: MVIS  ) provides, OLED screens built in brand-new Samsung factories on technology from Universal Display (Nasdaq: PANL  ) , and maybe even the same near-field communications technology you'll find in most Nokia (NYSE: NOK  ) smartphones next year.

If white iPhone 4 sales go through the roof and iPhone 5 follows up with fireworks and another mega-hit, Apple will double-dip (maybe even triple if you already have a black iPhone 4) into its customers' gadget lust and deserves a standing ovation. At worst, Cupertino is spending a bit of development effort on a gadfly that's instantly relegated to low-cost status, and not much harm is done.

Well played, Steve. Maybe the old genius has some spark in it yet.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. Universal Display is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. The Fool owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.

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