White iPhone coming Spring 2011

An eagle-eyed Apple fan has noticed that new signs going up in Apple stores in the US point to a spring 2011 launch for the fabled white iPhone 4.

Advertising boards photographed by a 9to5 Mac reader contain the legend "The white iPhone 4 will be available spring 2011" and there's no credible reason to believe it's an error as its the first time that particular date has been mentioned by the Cupertino company.

What is a little confusing is why Apple would be putting so much effort into releasing such a marginal product just months before the widely-expected release of the iPhone 5.

We can't help speculating that there's a bigger story buried in this careless slip on behalf of Apple graphic design team. Could it be that the iPhone 5 won't follow Apple's traditional 18-month release cycle for upgraded iPhones?

We've always thought that, what with the vast majority of iPhone 4 users signing up to two-year contracts, the release cycle would be stretched over the next few years and that a Christmas 2011 launch for the iPhone 5 was much more likely.

The white iPhone has been plagued by production problems with rumours ranging from and inability to get a smooth finish on the glass back panel to difficulties matching the colour of the glass front bezel and the plastic home button.

Our favourite excuse, and by far the most feasible in our book, is that Apple's manufacturing partners have been unable to make the white case components opaque enough to prevent light leakage into the handset's camera modules.

Whatever the cause of the delay, for the first time in ages we have seen a release date for the iPhone in black and white on what appears to be an official Apple document.

People have, of course, gone to much greater lengths to fake Apple products so we guess you'll just have to keep the faith until the Second Coming of the iPhone 4.