Apple’s long-awaited white iPhone 4 has been released this week, but perhaps the biggest related story is the way that Apple broke the news.
With a single word – “Finally” – Apple displayed a self-deprecating humility that many feel has been distinctly absent from the way the company usually presents itself. It was a bold decision to go with this, as it represents Apple holding its hands up and admitting it has made a mistake.
We wrote on Green Notes back in October 2010 that the white iPhone 4 delay showed an unexpected vulnerability from Apple, and mused that it could have a wider impact on the way that the company was perceived in the future.
In the mere six months or so that has passed since we published that article, Apple has released the second generation of the tablet platform-defining iPad, achieving record sales figures and typical hype. The original black iPhone 4 has continued to sell well globally, bringing on board a second network carrier in the US and impressive new capabilities through an OS update. Just this week a report claimed that the company’s phenomenal cash reserve could support the whole operation until 2018, even if it didn’t make another penny from now on. The Cupertino juggernaut hasn’t slowed down, despite the white iPhone 4’s continued elusiveness.
With this ongoing success in mind, the tone of the ‘Finally’ announcement certainly wasn’t a given. Apple could have comfortably heralded the release as the latest in a long line of wonder products and carried on regardless. But it didn’t. It acknowledged the massive delay, and almost apologetically pushed the white iPhone into the fleeting limelight.
So, while the white iPhone 4 won’t break any sales records, it may well have given Apple a PR lesson that money can’t buy.