The long-delayed version of the Apple iPhone 4 in a white outer casing finally launched yesterday, only ten months after the debut of the black version. There were production problems with the lighter casing — production problems that are going to continue to haunt this device.
Turns out the white version of the iPhone 4 is slightly thicker than the black one. Apple apparently needed to make the casing a bit more opaque, and the only way to do this was add more plastic. The difference isn’t huge, 9.5 mm instead of 9.3 mm, but this might be enough that some form-fitting cases designed for the black version won’t work on the new one.
This leaves consumers in an uncomfortable position. If you want a case for your iPhone 4 in white, you may have to buy one, test it on your device, return it if it doesn’t fit, and repeat this process until you find one that’s the right size.
A Re-occurring Problem
By now, accessory makers should be reconciled to Apple tinkering with the shape and size of its smartphone so that cases have to be redesigned every year or so. But the iPhone 4 has caused additional headaches.
When Verizon released its much-anticipated version of this device in February, many were unpleasantly surprised to learn that it isn’t the same size as AT&T’s version. And the differences were large enough that many cases designed for one won’t work on the other. And now both carriers are offering slightly different black and white editions of their separate versions.
Here’s hoping Apple gets its ducks in a row before it releases its next smartphone. A big part of this is realizing that it’s important that when consumers buy an iPhone 5 case they can be certain it’s going to fit their iPhone 5.
Related Articles on Brighthand