White iPhone 4: Modified Rear Camera, Reports of Thickness Difference Disputed

While much of the attention regarding the long-delayed launch of the white iPhone 4 has died down, a few tidbits of interest continue to trickle out.

Late last week, Japanese blog Mac Otakara pointed to a pair of tweets from @kazunie highlighting some of the differences between the black and white models of the iPhone 4.

133732 white iphone 4 camera
Rear camera of black (left) and white (right) iPhone 4

In particular, Apple seems to have modified the camera sensor in the white version, opting for a slightly different module that likely carries almost identical specs to the one used in the black version. It is unclear, however, whether the change was made specifically to deal with issues related to light leakage reportedly affecting camera performance, one of the more popular targets of rumors regarding the device's delayed launch.

The report also notes that the proximity sensor has been modified in the white models, although no details on the changes are included. The proximity sensor has been one of the chief areas of focus on the device, given Apple's obvious redesign of the iPhone's front plate in the area of the sensor, shifting from a grille of tiny holes in early renderings and samples of the white models to a single black window in the shipping versions.

Reports of the white iPhone 4 being slightly thicker than the black version are also coming under fire, with Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller reportedly sending a response to a customer via Twitter direct message disputing the claims.

It is not thicker, don't believe all the junk that you read

Consumer Reports has also disputed the findings with their own caliper measurements showing identical thicknesses for the black and white models.

133732 consumer reports iphone thickness
Consumer Reports' caliper measurements of iPhone 4 thickness

The thickness difference was of course confirmed in an extensive series of caliper measurements taken by TiPb last week and by numerous other users examining their own devices and attempting to fit them into cases. Consequently, the difference may be an issue of quality control with some phones exhibiting the difference while others do not, rather than an intentional design change to specify the thicker profile.

141133 engadget iphone thickness
Comparison showing white iPhone 4 thicker than black (Source: Engadget)

Top Rated Comments

BC2009 Avatar
128 months ago
I think that no other company has their products come under more scrutiny than Apple. It is amazing. When folks say how the media just falls over Apple and praises them constantly -- it cracks me up. The media is just itching for bad news on Apple, and they are looking in every possible place to find it.

What shocks me is the level of forgiveness that competing tablets against the iPad are getting. Apple is so dominating the tablet-computing sector right now, that the media is just hoping for a contender. Motorola and RIM have both released "Beta Hardware (http://technologizer.com/2011/04/21/the-era-of-beta-hardware/)" to the public and many reviewers are being soft on RIM with even more being soft on Motorola. If Apple released such a product they would get blasted in the media with nobody offering forgiveness.

Case and point... Mossberg on the iPad 2:

"Also, the battery life, while very good, isn’t as strong as I found it to be on the first iPad. In my tough battery test, where I played full-length movies until the battery died, with the screen brightness at about 75% and both Wi-Fi and cellular radios running, the iPad 2 just barely exceeded Apple’s claimed battery life, dying after 10 hours and nine minutes."

Keep in mind that Apple advertises 10 hours and Mossberg got better than that with the brightness setting 25% higher than Apple's default setting. Yet he had to reach to find something to complain about (e.g.: his iPad 1 test unit just happened to have extraordinary battery life -- keep in mind that most reviewers of iPad 2 got better battery life than iPad 1).

Gruber criticizes Mossberg even more in a post called "Bending Over Backwards" (http://daringfireball.net/2011/03/bending_over_backwards). Some of Gruber's points are arguable, but I think he is dead-on in many regards, especially his final quote:

"Stating the plain truth, that the iPad 2 has no serious competition as a mainstream consumer device, doesn’t make you biased. It makes you accurate."

Apple, however, does not get to enjoy the luxury of forgiveness that the media affords to those who are not the market leader. The fact that folks are trying to quantify a thickness difference of 0.2 mm on some units, completely amazes me. I'm sure its within manufacturing specifications and I'm sure that not every single Black iPhone 4 is the same thickness, and yet it is news.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
toddybody Avatar
128 months ago
What is your point? If you have something to say, then say it, don't post useless links.

It's called sarcasm - some get it and some don't.

My apologies.

Ill explain what the link implied. The sarcastic joke that you posted is simply trite beyond belief, and as such I thought Id use similar methods of sarcasm to convey my thoughts on the matter. Now, the crux of my joke relies on the play of opposites (as your comment was anything but original) and meant to be informative. Im really sorry you didn't get my initial brevity, and Ill make sure to explain myself in full next time. Thanks so much, stay well:)
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DennisVR Avatar
128 months ago
It confirms that wearing black makes you look thinner. :cool:
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
toddybody Avatar
128 months ago
It's just that black is slimming. ;)


...too bad it doesnt work for Bob :(


Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Vertigo50 Avatar
128 months ago
It's amazing what someone with the proper tool can do to actually test these kind of issues.

I was waiting for someone to FINALLY grab a caliper and measure both devices. Game over.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NinjaHERO Avatar
128 months ago
It's just that black is slimming. ;)
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

jon prosser imac 2021colors

Prosser: 2021 iMac to Come in Five Colors, Apple Silicon Mac Pro to Resemble 'Stacked' Mac Minis

Wednesday February 24, 2021 7:26 am PST by
Hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has today alleged that the upcoming 2021 iMac models will offer five color options, mirroring the colors of the fourth-generation iPad Air, and revealed a number of additional details about the Mac Pro with Apple Silicon. In a new video on YouTube channel FrontPageTech, Prosser explained that the redesigned iMacs will come featuring options for Silver, Space ...
First Look Big Sur Feature2

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 to Prevent MacBooks From Being Damaged by Third-Party Non-Compliant Docks

Thursday February 25, 2021 10:07 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.2.2, the fourth update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November. macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 comes two weeks after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.2.1, a bug fix update. The new ‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌ 11.2.2‌ update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences....
microsoft edge ios android

Bill Gates Says His Preference for Android Over iPhone is Due to Pre-Installed Software

Friday February 26, 2021 3:35 am PST by
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates this week participated in his first meeting on Clubhouse, the increasingly popular invite-only conversation app, where he fielded a range of questions as part of an ongoing book tour. Gates was interviewed by journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin, and given that the Clubhouse app is currently only available on iOS, naturally one of the questions that came up was...
flat mbp 14 inch feature yellow

Redesigned 14-Inch MacBook Pro Expected to Feature Brighter Mini-LED Display With Slimmer Bezels and More

Thursday February 25, 2021 7:48 am PST by
Apple plans to unveil new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED-backlit displays in the second half of this year, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report claims that Radiant Opto-Electronics will be the exclusive supplier of the Mini-LED backlight units, while Quanta Computer is said to be tasked with final assembly of the...
m1 mac mini

M1 Mac Users Report Excessive SSD Wear

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:07 am PST by
Over the past week, some M1 Mac users have been reporting alarming SSD health readings, suggesting that these devices are writing extraordinary amounts of data to their drives (via iMore). Across Twitter and the MacRumors forums, users are reporting that M1 Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In what appear to be the most severe cases, M1 Macs are sai...
steam apple logo

Valve Ordered to Give Apple Information on 436 Steam Games As Part of Epic Games Legal Case

Thursday February 25, 2021 1:50 am PST by
Valve, the makers behind popular game distribution platform Steam, will be forced to hand over aggregate historical sales, price, and other information on 436 games hosted on the store to Apple, as part of the Apple vs. Epic Games antitrust case. As reported in a paywalled report by Law360, during a virtual discovery hearing on Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson ordered that...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models With HDMI Port and SD Card Reader to Launch Later This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 8:52 pm PST by
Apple plans to release two new MacBook Pro models equipped with an HDMI port and SD card reader in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who outlined his expectations in a research note obtained by MacRumors. The return of an SD card reader was first reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman last month. "We predict that Apple's two new MacBook Pro models in 2H21 will have...
apple store macarthur center

Apple Store at MacArthur Center in Virginia Permanently Closing Following Years of Safety Issues at Shopping Mall

Thursday February 25, 2021 4:45 pm PST by
Apple today indicated that its retail store at the MacArthur Center shopping mall in Norfolk, Virginia will be permanently closing after over 14 years of business, although an exact closure date has yet to be announced by the company. Apple has assured that it will be offering all employees at the store other positions within Apple, and said that it looks forward to continuing to serve...
qualcomm snapdragon x60 5g

iPhone 13 Lineup Expected to Use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 Modem With Several 5G Improvements

Wednesday February 24, 2021 8:10 am PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 13 lineup will use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 5G modem, with Samsung to handle manufacturing of the chip, according to DigiTimes. Built on a 5nm process, the X60 packs higher power efficiency into a smaller footprint compared to the 7nm-based Snapdragon X55 modem used in iPhone 12 models, which could contribute to longer battery life. With the X60 modem, iPhone...
anker magsafe powercore battery pack

Anker Releases MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack for iPhone 12 Lineup

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:49 am PST by
Following rumors that Apple is working on a MagSafe battery pack for iPhone 12 models, popular accessory maker Anker has beaten Apple to the punch with the release of its PowerCore Magnetic 5K Wireless Power Bank. First previewed at CES 2021, the PowerCore battery pack magnetically attaches to the back of any iPhone 12 model and provides 5W of wireless charging. With a 5,000 mAh capacity,...