White iPhone 4 Spotted, Reason for Delay Explained

If you’re waiting for a white iPhone 4, you’ve been waiting a long time now. It might infuriate you to know that Apple (s aapl) apparently has hoards of them piled up at Apple HQ. Are they preparing for a launch? No, not according to a man who owns one.

Blog Pocket-lint spotted the as-yet unreleased white iPhone 4 at a press event yesterday in New York City, being used by a person who wished to remain nameless. Probably a wise move after everything that happened with the Gizmodo iPhone fiasco. Pocket-lint managed to snap some photos of the device being used, and even approached the man to find out how he got his hands on one.

Turns out the guy had contacts inside One Infinite Loop, and that friend was able to get him a white iPhone 4 because they’re literally stacked in boxes around the place. Initial shipments of the device came through prior to the intended launch, but there was a problem: The white of the home button doesn’t quite match the white of the front face plate.

Those who’ve experienced antenna problems with their iPhone 4 or heard this story about Steve Jobs’ preference for form over function that came to light as a result of that debacle won’t be surprised that a shade of color difference would prevent an Apple product going to market.

Apple’s suppliers can’t remedy the problem, at least not to Jobs’ satisfaction, so the white iPhone 4 stays off of store shelves. It’s already been delayed many times, with the latest reports putting a release date sometime around Christmas. Apple hasn’t made mention of it at all in a long time, though.

We’ve got a major Apple event coming up next week. What better time to announce a white Christmas for customers? Even though it’s a Mac-focused event, if the phone is ready for mass consumption, we’ll see it unveiled there. If it isn’t, chances grow slimmer still that we’ll see a white iPhone 4 at all.

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):