The white iPhone 4 was originally announced alongside the black one back at WWDC 2010 last June but for a variety of production related reasons, has taken 10 long months for Apple to ship. That means, when it finally arrives tomorrow, it will essentially be the same device that's been on sale in black form for almost a year. Now don't get me wrong, the fact that iPhone 4 is still a top of the line phone this long after its launch is a testament to the quality of Apple's hardware and the frequency of their software updates. Still, it's not a new iPhone, it's just a new color.
The iPhone 5 was expected to launch in June, just a couple of months from now, because for the last 4 years that's exactly when new iPhones have launched. This year, however, everything we've heard, and everything a lot of respected sites have heard, pegs the release date as fall 2011 -- September or October. That's 3 or 4 months later than usual and 5-6 months from now. And until Apple introduces it, likely at their annual iTunes and iPod event, we have no idea how big an update it will be. It could be an iPhone 3GS style incremental update, with the same case but a new A5 processor and maybe an improved camera, or it could be the total redesign I've been hoping for and others keep teasing. There's just no way to know.
So we go back to our usual advice on these things -- if you absolute have to buy a new iPhone tomorrow or in the next couple of months, and white is the color you want or have been waiting for, then get it. Get it and be proud. It's a great device that will easily carry you another year or two, especially with iOS 5 this year, and future updates to come.
If you can wait, however, if you don't need a new iPhone but just want one, if it's a nice to have but not a must have, then wait. Wait until iPhone 5 if you can. Wait until you can't wait any more. Then buy and be happy with what you bought!
(Check out our iPhone buyers guide for more, including help with deciding between AT&T and Verizon, and the different storage sizes.)
Anyone trying to make up their minds? Let us know which way you're leaning!