According to Bloomberg and its customary cadre of anonymous but highly connected sources, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) is on track to release the white iPhone 4 before the end of April.
Yeah, that's what I thought.
Bloomberg says that both AT&T (NYSE: T ) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) should have the elusive iPhone variant on their shelves this month. That would give Cupertino something like two months to pad its sales with the all-white design that's so dear to the Apple brand in general, before rolling out the next generation of iPhones in late June (unless those pesky delay rumors prove true).
Of course, Apple tends to keep each model in retail stores for two years at a time, giving customers a choice between embracing the latest and greatest or saving some money on last year's model. The 3GS still sells at AT&T stores for a bargain-bin $49 subsidized price. Hence, a late launch isn't entirely without merit -- these things have legs. To skip this release, even if it's just a color variation on an established model, would be to leave sales on the table. That doesn't sound like the Steve Jobs we know.
Apple has been steadfast since the fizzled launch last summer, saying that white iPhones would eventually become available, and you can call the company many things but usually not "liars," especially when both profits and Apple's public image are on the line. So if Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI ) , HTC, and Samsung were hoping to exploit this chink in Apple's armor, they had better act fast because it's closing in a matter of weeks.
Did you ever believe that Apple would leave the white iPhone 4 and just move on? Discuss in the comments below, you heretic.