White iPhone? You ain’t seeing that thing until 2011

Apple can build up a global colossal empire, create the most heralded phone platform of all time, and astound us with its unmatched level of arrogance, but there’s one thing it can’t do: slap a new color on one of its products.

It’s a sign that may say more than just how Apple can’t hone in on the fine details. It may go to show just how proprietary the company’s products are, that they cannot be altered in any way even if they want to.

Apple confirmed today that the white iPhone 4, which was supposed to be available on the same day as the regular version, has been pushed back to 2011. This marks the third official delay for the device, which looks like it won’t be hitting stores until nearly a year after it was originally scheduled for availability.

An Apple spokesperson confirmed the delay in a Reuters interview saying, “We’re sorry to disappoint customers waiting for the white iPhone again” and then saying it would be available next spring.

Some have suggested the continued delay of the white-colored iPhone 4 is so Apple can address the design flaw of the device which makes holding the phone vulnerable to antenna malfunctions. However, Apple has stubbornly refused to admit any sort of problem despite hard evidence that the iPhone 4 drops more calls than any other iPhone.

It would be unlikely to see the white version of the phone change the internal engineering, because that would mean Apple was admitting failure. It never does that, even when it fails.

No, it probably has more to do with the simple fact that it pulls together a lot of different manufacturing components, and finding a way to make sure every part matches and there is a consistent color throughout is proving to be a real challenge.

Apple has never tried to release a different-colored iPhone for any of its previous releases.