When car makers release a new car, they usually limit the number of colors it is available in. A year later they expand the color scheme and offer special editions to reach new customers. Apple is now inadvertently doing the same thing with the iPhone 4. Apple planned to release the white iPhone along with the black iPhone 4 almost a year ago, but ran into production issues.
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For car companies the staged color offering seems to work as they have been doing it for ages. The white iPhone 4 gets a lot of attention, but will it really result in a noticeable spike in iPhone 4 sales? The iPhone 4 is still selling very well. The Verizon release opened up a whole new customer base. We will learn how well the iPhone sells next week when Apple releases their quarterly earnings on April 20th.
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Personally I will stick with my 3GS and continue to wait for the iPhone 5. I drive a white car, but I do not need a color matching 10 month old gadget.