Will you buy white iPhone 4?

White iPhone 4Wouldn't it be funny if millions of people held back buying iPhone 4 because they wanted white? To many of Betanews' geekiest readers, that question is outrageous in the asking -- let alone answering it. But high tech is as much about fashion, what it says about you, as utility. Otherwise, why are there products like Apple MacBook Air or Samsung Series 9 notebooks?

Look at Bluetooth earpieces or men's watches, for example, where design makes a statement about you. How many men choose Invicta watches for their enormous size and bold, tough guy appearance? Automobiles have long been the ultimate in design statement. Then there is what Apple has done with colors, for the iPod line and, more recently, iPad Smart Covers. Design matters.

So which iPhone do you want to be? Black or white? I prefer white, but own a black iPhone 4. I wouldn't pay the unsubsidized fee to get white. But, if I were buying new today, white would almost certainly be my choice. I'm sure my teenage daughter will be asking for white (and paying with her own cash, if she really wants one; I can't afford it).

I had wondered, after Apple took so long getting white iPhone 4 to market, if there would be a price premium for it. Apple has done this before. In May 2006, Apple unveiled new MacBook designs in white and black. The base models were identically configured. Color was only difference, but Apple charged $150 more for black. That's the color my daughter wanted. We waited months for the new MacBook, before replacing here aging desktop PC. I wouldn't pay extra for black, but many people did.

Apple isn't charging more this time around. White iPhone 4 will cost the same as black -- $199 and $299, subsidized price here in the United States from either AT&T or Verizon Wireless.

Apple had planned to offer iPhone 4 in both colors, like the 3GS, when it launched in June 2010. But unexpectedly, and for reasons not made clear by Apple, white was pulled last minute. At the time, I speculated that the change contributed to early iPhone 4 shortages. Apple's distribution pipeline was primed for two colors, meaning there weren't as many units to sell as planned.

There have been many rumors about why white went away. The one I find most believable, and I have no corroboration about it: Bleed through light affecting photos and videos. "We appreciate everyone who has waited patiently while we've worked to get every detail right," Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, said in a statement. That suggests that some detail wasn't right enough for Apple.

AT&T and Verizon activated 5.8 million iPhones during first calendar quarter. Apple sold 18.647 million iPhones. Is there enough pent-up white iPhone 4 demand to drive up numbers higher? You tell me.

My question for you is simple: Will you buy white iPhone 4? Would you stand in line somewhere to get one? Please answer the poll above and offer explanation "Why?" in comments, or email joewilcox at gmail dot com.

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