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White iPhone 4 thickness creates issue for case makers, owners


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bentharbour

 
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Engadget

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By now you've probably seen the latest spectacle to consume the white iPhone 4: it's thicker than the black model. The image above illustrates the point using a piece of lead from a mechanical pencil. So what, you say, in righteous indignation to a device that shipped ten months late. Well, the size difference creates a potential consumer issue since cases (at least the good ones) are manufactured against the tight tolerances supplied by Apple. We've confirmed ourselves, that an Incase slider that fits a black iPhone 4 just fine has to be forced into place on the new white model. Unfortunately, Apple's own spec page doesn't highlight the change in thickness (measured at 9.5mm by TiPb). Instead it still shows a 9.3mm depth with a tiny disclaimer stating, "Actual size and weight vary by configuration and manufacturing process." The result is confusion -- will this case fit or won't it? -- which is never a good thing for consumers.

But why is the white iPhone 4 thicker? Phil Schiller mentioned that Apple needed to add extra UV protection among other tweaks, in an attempt to reduce the "unexpected interactions" between the white cover and the internal components. As such, Apple apparently needed to sacrifice some slimness for a better functioning white phone. In the end, we have what looks to be four different size / button configurations that must be considered when purchasing a shrink-wrapped case for your white iPhone 4, black iPhone 4, white Verizon iPhone 4, or black Verizon iPhone 4. Good luck with that.

Additional reporting by Sam Sheffer

[Thanks, Jon]
It will be interesting to see how many case manufacturers jump on the newest configuration.

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I've read several reports that the white iPhone isn't any thicker than the black iPhone.

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I've compared mine to a friend's black iPhone and I must say it is even noticeably a little thicker (when both laid down on a flat surface). Then again, it could be me hearing about this and then thinking it looks thicker...

Do bumpers still fit? I've yet to pick one up, and have never seen how well they fit.

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Originally Posted by Stretch View Post
I've read several reports that the white iPhone isn't any thicker than the black iPhone.
Consumer reports( yeah I know) says they measured both phones and they are in fact the same size.. And everyone knows if they had a chance to point out they are different sizes they would

This whole story is a bit strange
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Originally Posted by a.j.c. View Post
Consumer reports( yeah I know) says they measured both phones and they are in fact the same size.. And everyone knows if they had a chance to point out they are different sizes they would

This whole story is a bit strange
I agree with you, to me the whole story sounds strange.
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Two-tenths of a millimetre variance is pretty minimal, and I wouldn't doubt it's within spec for a consumer device like the iPhone.

That's a little less than eight one-thousandths of an inch: 0.007874". Those are tolerances a machinist probably wouldn't live with, however.

A $10 digital caliper or micrometer would tell the tale. I wonder if anyone has measured a batch to check the variance in flatness across the whole phone, or squareness for that matter?
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Why buy now, I'd wait for the improved iPhone 5. I'm sure they will fix any bugs.

Tom
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Why buy now, I'd wait for the improved iPhone 5. I'm sure they will fix any bugs.

Tom
My thoughts exactly. At this point the iPhone 4 may (emphasize may) be 70-80% through its cycle. The next generation seems to be just around the corner.

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$20 the next iPhone will be like the 3G to 3GS update, so the next "generation" is over a year away.

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Looks aside...the upgrade from the 3G to the 3GS was huge...the 3GS is closer to the 4 than the 3G
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Not really. The 3GS is only a slight spec bump over the 3G. Nothing huge or game changing over the 3G.

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I have not used a 3G in forever but I just remember it being so slow...

After using the 3GS for over a year switching back and forth with an iPhone4 I don't notice much of a speed difference when surfing the web,or doing other things for that matter..

Guess my point was some people sound disappointed if the 5th gen iPhone is only gonna be a 4s..I say don't be
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Originally Posted by Stretch View Post
Not really. The 3GS is only a slight spec bump over the 3G. Nothing huge or game changing over the 3G.
Actually, the 3G used essentially the same innards as the original iPhone, so the "slight spec bump" in the 3GS was actually quite noticeable, which was made abundantly clear with the release of iOS 4, as the 3G was severely crippled in comparison to the 3GS. Sure, they both look the same, but the insides were very different. Performance-wise, the 3GS is much closer to the iPhone 4 than it is to the 3G. Though I will agree, the 3GS was merely another iteration of the iPhone and was not a true revolution like the iPhone 4 with its faster hardware, new design, and Retina Display.


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