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Where is the White iPhone 4?

white-iphone-4Like a mythical albino creature roaming the woods, seen only in fleeting glimpses by startled hikers and disbelieving hunters, the white iPhone 4 seems like more myth than reality. Though it has featured prominently in Apple’s advertising of the phone and even appeared on stage with Steve Jobs, those who crave the iPhone 4 Apple’s iconic color scheme still have nowhere to buy it.

So where is Apple’s promised white iPhone 4?

After failing to offer it in the initial wave of preorders for the phone, Apple released a press statement the day before the iPhone 4 went on sale explaining that the phones had “proven more challenging to manufacture than expected” and would go on sale in the second half of July.

By that language, they should be arriving any day now, although the fact that most AT&T store can’t even manage to keep the black phones in stock isn’t encouraging.

By all other accounts, Apple has its hands full. An uproar over the so-called Death Grip, condemnation by Consumer Reports, and now an upcoming press conference could all have delayed the white iPhone 4 even further, as Apple scrambles to fix issues and pacify users of the first iteration.

And with more public scrutiny comes more hesitation. The last thing Apple needs are claims that the white version yellows over time, cracks too easily, or gives glass splinters. If any of the “manufacturing issues” with the white version could make the phone more susceptible to any type of conceivable defect, you had better believe Apple will be taking the time to double and triple check them before crates head off to AT&T stores.

Where can I get one now?

Oddly enough, white iPhones have been spotted in the wild. The Japanese site Impress Watch inexplicitly got its hands on a white iPhone and posted a number of unboxing shots. Sadly, you can look but not touch – this rarity isn’t for sale.

If you’re really desperate, you can convert your black iPhone with a do-it-yourself kit. The appropriately impatient-sounding WhiteiPhone4Now.com sells complete kits to convert phones, including front and back panels, a new touch screen, and a white home button. Unfortunately, they cost more than you likely paid for the phone to begin with – $285 – and you’ll still need to pry the whole thing apart and reassemble it on your own.

Colorware will also let you pick the colors for every part of your phone except the front bezel, send it in, and receive it back fully customized in about three weeks for $250.

Barring either of these options, it’s still a waiting game for the ivory iPhone hopeful.

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