Apple Stores exchanging white iPhone 4 models for 4S models due to supply constraints

white iphone hero

Some Apple Stores in the United States and Canada are experiencing major supply constraints with the white 16GB iPhone 4. Allegedly the problem is so bad that Apple has instructed genius bar workers to replace customers' 16GB white iPhone 4 models with iPhone 4S where needed. Multiple sources have apparently confirmed this is currently being implemented.

The replacement model would be a refurbished iPhone 4S 16GB but customers would get a significant upgrade from their iPhone 4; namely a better camera, faster processor and of course Siri. Not all Apple Stores have been affected so far but we are sure that if supply constraints are that bad it won’t be long before they are. Currently the problem only seems to be within the United States and Canada.

If you've exchanged your white 16GB white iPhone 4 and received a refurbished 16GB white iPhone 4S, let us know!

Source: 9to5Mac


UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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There are 40 comments. Add yours.

iMore-On says:

I got a 4s, out of nowhere the apple guy was explaing due to supply, 4s phones are being given for 4's

Duvi says:

Must be nice. Might tell one of my friends to make a genius appt.

iMore-On says:

You gotta find a store out of 16gb white 4, dont bother if they Arent out of white 4's

Anon says:

A refurbished phone is opened up, repaired, closed, and cleaned. Apple does not give, sell or replace broken phones with refurbished phones.
They do remanufacture phones. If a phone comes in for a defective camera, they recover the other working parts and use them to build a new phone. No part of the old phone that the customer touches has been cleaned and re-used.

Ryan says:

You just described what a refurbished phone is. "Remanufactured" is a term carriers and stores use sometimes during warranty replacement to shut people up about getting a "used" phone(even though it may not be used). I worked for AT&T and Sony warranty services, this is the exact case. Look it up if you want.

John says:

Refurbished is used wiped off and given to a customer. It can come with scratches dents chips etc. remanufactored no one has ever put their dirty face on it to use it and does not come damaged. So your mistaken.

Nate says:

John, you are the one that is mistaken. Simply search "refurbished" on The definition is, in verb form, "to renovate". Upon looking up "renovate", the definition is "to restore to good condition". Remanufacture and refurbish are the same thing.
You fell into the retail definition hype.

Juan says:

How far does the screen cover rtotae on its hinge? And does it want to stay there or does it sort of tend to snap back to the closed position? I'm sort of concerned how this might work propped up on the stand with the screen cover opened off to the side and not really out of the way? Also, does the stand it comes with only prop up the iPad at a high angle, or can it also be used to prop it up at a lower angle (typing position)? In any case, thanks for the review, very helpful!

Anon says:

John, if you would read Apple's policy on refurbished Apple products (in this case iPhones) they replace the casing on the phone and the battery. So it will look brand new and not have any chips, dents, etc. Oh and if you're going to argue over synonyms, I will gladly direct you to an online thesaurus.

Matt says:

Are we talking GSM models only, or CDMA as well? The Apple store near me has a very liberal replacement policy, and I'll totally go down there if they're doing CDMA.

Aaron says:

I'd like to know that as well, I hope the Victor, NY location is low on white CDMA iP4s, I'll totally switch mine out :)

Kyle says:

I have an iPhone 4 white 16GB, can you just walk in and switch it out or do you have to have something wrong with your phone?

James says:

Are you being serious? Do you really think that you can buy an iPhone 4 and with no faults you can just swap it for the higher priced 4S ... I don't know what you're on but i'd suggest laying off it for a while, it's frying your brain !!

Kyle says:

Ok, just asking. I don't know what is your problem

James says:

I don't have a problem, it just amuses me how you could ever think you could just swap your working iPhone 4 for a 4S, you must see the sheer stupidity in your question, i'm sure others will.

Roo says:

A simple "no" or "I doubt it" would have sufficed, John. No need to jump on the guy.

Kyle says:

Where do you work James? AT&T

iPhoneDon797 says:

This happens a lot on these iMore comment threads. Thats why I usually don't comment. Some people on here can be real dicks.....

UndergroundWire says:

I'm surprised by how some people need to insult other people because their lives are $h!t. I hope you feel better now James.

Josh says: need to get off the wow

mjfadaway says:

Is this only for people who have Apple Care Insurance? Does Apple replace phones for people who don't have insurance? And if so is there a deductible?

Anon says:

Your phone is covered by a standard 1-year warranty. This covers manufacturing defects but not accidental damage. AppleCare extends this warranty a second year, but again does not cover damage to the phone or loss. They also offer AppleCare Plus which has low-cost replacement options for damaged phones. Hope that helps.

mjfadaway says:

Yes that helps a lot. Thank you sir. So if I just called the Apple store and asked if they had a White 16g iPhone 4 for replacement, they would be able to tell me over the phone?

James Mom says:

James doesnt have a life just sits around the house all day and watches porn!!!!

Leet says:

I can confirm this For Toronto's Eatons apple store

darlee says:

anyone else in the toronto area experience this?
If yes please let me know location.

Leet says:

I'd suggest going ASAP

alex says:

yorkdale, but today i am going to eaton centre

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