Yes, your case will probably still fit the 0.2mm thicker white iPhone 4

White iPhone 4 is roughly 0.2mm thicker than black iPhone

Looks like the white iPhone 4 is roughly 0.2mm thicker than the black iPhone 4 released 10 month ago -- roughly 9.3mm to 9.5mm. MacRumors had this up earlier today, and I noticed it when my trusty Case Mate Barely There case barely fit on my new white iPhone 4. In fact, it fit like my old black iPhone 4 did back when it had BodyGuardz front and back. It still went in, but it was a much closer, almost too close fit compared to the black iPhone 4.

Apple's iPhone 4 spec page lists only 9.3mm as the depth for the iPhone 4, with no breakdown or difference given for the white iPhone 4. Whether the extra thickness has to do with opacity, a layer of UV protection, or something else is unknown.

I tried out a bunch of different cases and those that were just a tiny bit loose on the black iPhone 4 fit perfectly on the white iPhone 4 (like the CaseMate Chrome) while those that just fit the black iPhone 4 were just a tiny bit too tight (like the aforementioned Barely There). Given manufacturing tolerances, that might vary on a case by case basis as well.

Since the white iPhone 4 has the same antenna as the black iPhone 4, people in low signal areas with big watery man-hands are absolutely still going to want a case of some sort.

Here's what I've had a chance to test so far:

I'll update the list as I test more cases, and if you've tried any on your white iPhone, let us know how they fit for you.

Pictures of our measurements, taken at three points on both sides of a July 2010 black iPhone 4 and April 2011 white iPhone 4, after the break!


UPDATE: Apple's SVP of marketing, Phil Schiller, has denied any difference via a Twitter DM. [9to5Mac]

UPDATE 2: Consumer reports also claims to have measured both iPhone 4 colors and found no difference in thickness. [Consumer Reports]

[gallery link="file" columns="2"]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 85 comments. Add yours.

xxDruMMer BoYxx says:

Omg seriously. Lol it's just a little bit thicker and it makes sense that's probably how they fixed the paint issue. My goodness what post are we gonna see next, that the battery last about 30 seconds longer on the white one then on the black. Lolol

macharborguy says:

talking about the thickness difference is perfectly valid. I wouldn't want to get a new white iPhone 4 only to find out that a specific case i wanted doesn't fit it snug, but instead so tight that it could possibly be worse for the phone that a help. There needs to be a little bit of give in some of these cases, otherwise the phone could break from the added pressure.

MojoVersion8 says:

if your case is so tight it can't handle an extra 0.2mm then the case probably wont fit with a normal iPhone 4 that has a screen protector on it and maybe more like to give you glassgate... Incase Slider I'm looking at you

Steven says:

And what if you have the screen protector on the White iPhone?

Brad says:

Incase works with an invisishield. Its a slightly tighter fit then the black one but havent had any issues, yet.

Bob Dole says:

I upgraded to the new white iPhone today. My black case fits perfectly.

hilary says:

it's beautiful. i just bought mine today.

tlo07 says:

Me too! Its a vision of loveliness!

Hamranhansenhansen says:

You are obviously suffering from Satisfactiongate, the Apple-specific problem where you are extremely satisfied with your phone purchase and its design and operation.

Ron says:

Damn really? It amazes me how people nit pick every damn thing!

Rene Ritchie says:

It matters to people who might have cases that don't quite fit. Some cases are manufactured very specifically.

Concealdcarrier says:

Rene, with all due respect, I think that if you tested and saw it fit, the headline, "probably" will fit is improper. If you have a case for an iphone 4, and you want to buy ANOTHER iphone 4 for the color, A. you have the disposable income to throw away on another case, and B. if you have an iphone 4, you aren't going to cover it up with a case. If i'm coming to tipb for information on this topic and you say it will "probably" fit? I'm going to a site that KNOWS if it will fit. I'm not going anywhere else, but some critique is all.

cjcth024 says:

Your holding the picture wrong

Ron says:

Why don't you just return it and tell apple it's 0.2 mm too thick. Maybe they will want to do a recall.

Mike says:

Can we say "Thickness-gate"

Hamranhansenhansen says:

Double-Stuf-Gate. It is thicker because it has more of the white creamy filling.

websyndicate says:

Hey Rene I appreciate the coverage of the white iPhone and your detailed investigation but little stories could be wrapped into one. Keep it up I want to know about this stuff

DA BOSS  says:


Jacky says:

LOL they probably have to add a white iPhone emoticon into the iOS emoji keyboard...

Rene Ritchie says:

MacRumors ran this story, we started to get email from people worried their cases wouldn't fit, we decided to look into it and post the results so everyone could calm down and make a better informed decision.
I understand the internet promotes the snark but please try to think how you'd feel if you were certain the case you wanted would fit the phone you wanted.

SheiknetChris says:

Rene, dude, I feel for you. It is so odd too that people just can't browse through a blog and skip what doesn't pertain to them.
For example, I was curious about this issue and read your article. I didn't need the whole thing as I am not in the iPhone 4 market, so I just skimmed to the bottom with your examples. Of course then you scroll to the comments and its all just internet attitude. My sympathies, keep up the good work!!!!

Brandon Smith says:

Woah! 02mm! That makes a big difference...?

bklynbruiser says:

Again... U guys who have no interest in the White iPhone, or just think its a waste of time. very easy to just keep scrolling and keep your traps shut. Reading the dumb ass comments like "oh god is this news" and "omg what's next the battery last 30 seconds less" is actually more annoying. Clearly there is an interest in this topic. Your not interested... STFU and keep it moving.. Thank You TIPB for ALL your work on this subject..

frog says:

This is a great story. This is essentially an iDevices fan site, it's the exact type of article they should be running. I loved the Royal Wedding post too!
Rene is easily the best Apple specific blogger out there IMO, because it's obvious he's enjoying himself/interested in the articles he writes.

Gabriel Rimi says:

Don't know how far does brazilian blogs matter to you all, but one of them(which I really trust) has compared both versions, and they are pretty much the same. Couldn't it be something related to the mass production factor? It woudn't make any sense for apple to change something like that, would it?

mrpdf says:

Good story. Don't like it? Ignore it. There are those of us who do care about the details whether or not we get a white version. Keep up the good work, Rene!

James says:

OMG OMG 0.2MM thicker?!?!?! Glad to know

Vuuduu8 says:

It's probably thicker because Apple had to put on TWO coats of paint.

Mark says:

Why would you buy a phone BECAUSE it is white...then put a case on it?

Rocketman says:

Alot of the cases protect mainly the back and the sides and have a clear screen protector for the front.

Kevin says:

You'd buy a case for the white iphone4 for the same reasons that you'd buy a case for the black iphone4:
1)To protect the device from cosmetic damage (scratches, dirt)
2)Device function damage in the event of a drop
3)Protect your 200-300 dollar investment (i.e. resale value is better if the device isn't damaged or scratched up)
4)Some are also purchased for aesthetic value
These are the main reasons that most buy cases for any cell phone.

Kalun says:

If the White iPhone 4 is thicker than the black one so maybe it could be tougher.. Try test drop it.. Everyone want to see the result..
all gorilla glass can crack like n8 and iphone 4 if drop it a lot of time or hit it with a hammer..

Eli says:

I'm gonna point this out.... The white iPhone 4 has problems with the otterbox defender case. The proximity sensor wont work. You need to cut the clear plastic on the otterbox that covers the proximity sensor for it to work. It's a pain when ya spend a lot of money on something thats supposed to protect the phone

Stephanie C. says:

Thanks for the info! I was interested in the Commuter case, and there may be a similar problem.

Eli says:

The comuter case should be fine. I'ts silicone. Altho the otterbox defender series like I said has the proximity sensor problem but only takes a small modification.

jlewsader says:

Yeah I bought the white Defender case and was told by Otterbox that the white case will reflect and interfere with the sensor... they sent a new one that had a black strip in the center of the sensor window but that didnt help. I cut out the plastic window and that still didnt help.... Ended up having to sharpie around the inside of the sensor window and now it works. I agree that Otterbox should find a better fix :)

Stephanie C. says:

Thanks for the info, even if minor! You think a silicone case would fit well? Not all are loose and easily stretchable. TPU cases tend to be tight. I have an Agent 18 FlowerVest right now, but wanted to try TPU. I'm going to guess the FlowerVest would fit since it's the stretchable silicone.

Nigel S. Lancaster Ph.D says:

So... after 10 months of waiting we find out that "the hottie is a fattie" .... oh well... I guess that should make some happy.

Anonymous says:

Sooooo...... I guess we are calling this one CASEGATE?!?!?!?!?!?! and someone is going so try and be a smart ass and sue Apple because it doesn't say on their sight that its 0.2mm thicker?!?! >.<

xxDruMMer BoYxx says:

Someone should sue you for saying "sight" instead of "site." XD

Anonymous says:

Blah that was a FAIL!!!! Just pointing it out. =P Some people have nothing to do and probably do that.

Mike says:

I guess the white iphone is alittle heavier.

jpwillis269 says:

The otterbox defender probably won't fit the white since it fits the black very snug

Josh says:

Well I bought an iPhone BECAUSE it was BLACK. Then put a CLEAR case on it for protection.....
While I certainly feel this is a story worth reading the difference in size is negligible. I suppose there may be some cases out there that may not fit but I have a feeling that won't actually be the case (no pun intended).
I mean do any of you complainers know how much 0.2mm is? It's MINUSCULE! Ever use one of those mechanical pencils? The thinnest one I've ever seen is 0.5mm and that is ONE THIN LINE.
That said I am sure every iPhone case manufacturer is desperately scrambling to find a white iPhone to test their cases so some moron doesn't sue them...... It will probably happen anyway. I give it.... hmmmm.... let's say...... 5 days before that story breaks.

John says:

"case by case basis". Nyuk nyuk nyuk.

kevlar says:

Maybe you should call thickness ' girth ', girth is a very important dimension.

Jordan says:

Damn. You guys get so much hate. I think that means you are all doing something right!

Ronn says:

White iPhone now with more girth. It does have a certain ring to it.

Danielle says:

They want you to buy a new case, just another way to make money. It's just like anything else that's upgraded, a few tweaks every few months and before you know it you have to replace everything you already have.

Hamranhansenhansen says:

Out of all the things Apple cares about, making money for case makers is way down the list. Case makers leak their designs constantly.

Sergio says:

And with a vaja case is there a problem????

Mark says:

Regarding Vaja cases, I've had a couple and I'd recommend avoiding the light colored ones, they don't stand up as well to daily use as the darker ones. They're nice cases, but their durability isn't as good as the price might suggest. OTOH, their flip type cases provide excellent protection for the phones.

SockRolid says:

But is it more blast proof? And will it still blend?

Hector says:


Mark says:

Take it from someone who has a lot of quality control experience, specifications aren't exact, they tend to be ranges. 0.2mm may be within the thickness specification range for an iPhone 4. If someone is really interested they should get a large sampling of both black and white phones consisting of samples from various production lots and start taking measurements. Or ask Apple. They might shock us and provide some of the spec ranges.

Leunz says:

you're using a 3$ chinese instrument...

memyselfandirene says:

It seems like someone needs to learn how to use calipers better.

skyler says:

actually its not a waist of time since otter box its self are saying its cases will not fit the white ones because of the .2mm difference so thanks

D'Lane says:

Will an Otter fit? The guy at the AT&T store told me it would not fit. This is my first iphone and I'm scared to take it out of the house without a case. I've heard Defense otter is the absolute best case, but how does that compare to those you listed?

No-Name says:

The white iPhone fits perfectly in my Element Case Vapor and Vapor Pro! I'd post a pic, but not capable!!! Shux!

rescuerick says:

I agree..................simple............learn to use the micrometer.......enough said..............DUH

TLee says:

Rene, thank you SOOO much for writing this article listing the possible cases! To all the imbeciles here who made fun of this article and the claim that there is no difference in thickness, I have actually tried it myself, and YES, my previous hard case for the black iPhone DID NOT fit well with the white iPhone 4. It snapped well and snug for the black, but when i tried it with the white, it couldn't protect the sides entirely (it couldn't even 'snap" or click onto the side of the phone). Why?? Because the white iphone IS thicker.
Appreciate you in taking time for writing this article, for the pics, and for the recommendations of which cases will go well with the white iPhone!

Amanda says:

The new Otterbox Reflex case does not fit the white iPhone 4. The lady at the AT&T store actually tried to put it on for me and it would not even slide on.

jerrod says:

bs. my white iphone 4 fits in my otterbox defender case just fine.
the issue isnt size, its design: for some reason apple decided to change the location of the proximity sensor in the white iphone 4, so while the case fits just fine it disables the sensor so that when youre talking on your phone the screen will not turn off so there is a great chance that your will hang up with your face. cmon otterbox, catch up...

Dgle says:

The SGP Linear Crystal Series does not fit on my white iPhone 4. It slides in fine but when it comes to snapping close, one side just won't make it far enough to click.
I am using another clear case, which did fit but is very tight.

Keeb says:

excellent Review very detailed

Tmkaiser199 says:

Will the griffIn survivor series fit the white iPhone 4?

Bpatsfan12 says:

yes, it fits in the only thing that is diffrent is the proximity sensor is moved so if its in the case during a call it wont sleep when u bring it up to you ear but other then that its an amazing case.



Tyler says:

will the case-mate aluminum brushed case fit the white iphone 4s? if it is just a little tight can that cause any problems other than just fitting snug?

Sara says:

How about Otterbox cases?

Tina9523 says:

Could you use an otterbox with the white iPhone 4s?

Danny Brtis says:

yeah it works fine as long as you get the 4S version, not 4

Danny Brtis says:

yeah it works fine as long as you get the 4S version, not 4

Christ14nPark says:

will most aluminum bumpers fit with the screws if you get the white 4s

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