Apple's white iPhone 4 is being pushed to the end of the year because of manufacturing difficulties. This isn't Apple's first problem with white gadgets. So I'm glad they're being more cautious.
There were the white Macbooks that cracked, made around 2006, which apple offered to repair long after launch, in 2009. Owners of white 3g iPhones had cracking around the mute switch, in 2008. And the Cube cracked in 2000, although I can't remember if the white liner was the problem. (Pretty sure it wasn't, actually, but it still cracked.) There have also been plenty of white gadgets by Apple that haven't cracked, like the Airport line, the original iPod and following generations, to name a few. But the two mentioned above were examples of white plastic not holding up as confidently as the black ones.
Update: Oh, a reader mentioned, wisely, that the new iphone is glass, mostly. Right. Regardless...
Here's what I do know: Apple's been releasing products at a fast clip. Now, they're holding off and making sure things are right instead of pushing a product out the door. That's better than a recall, better than repair, and it is a good change of pace for Apple. That's how I'm reading into it.
P.S. The black iPhone looks way better, so now is your chance to order the one that's stronger, cooler and isn't a unicorn!
From a Reader:
My dad was a plastic sales rep for many years. White plastic is always weaker due to the lack of carbon. The less carbon the lower the strength. This is why black plastic is stronger. The reason PVC is so strong is the hex link molecular configuration. PVC is not nearly as cheap per LB in raw material cost as medium to low carbon ABS. ABS is a styrene plastic this is akin to the white plastic cups. Where as polyvinyl Chloride is very rigid and nothing like that white cup you drink out of.
Just a little info on why everyone who makes gadgets out of white plastic has so many issues the plastic is just not favorable at the same cost as black.