Has Apple got white right for iPad 2?

A white iPad would give new hope to those still waiting for Apple's promised, and continually delayed, white iPhone 4

New rumors say that Apple has got white right this time, and will unveil a white iPad 2 when the company announces the next version of its popular tablet, expected later this week.

A white iPad would give new hope to those still waiting for Apple's promised, and continually delayed, white iPhone 4.

iMOBY: The hunt for the great white iPhone

The 9to5Mac Web site is showed photos of a white digitizer, the picture frame-like part that surrounds the iPad screen and is covered by a glass plate. The photo, and a companion rear photo of the same part, were supplied by iFixYouri, a repair service that specializes in iPhone and iPad repairs. At this writing, iFixYouri had not posted anything on its own blog.

The front photo shows a rectangular white -- or at least white-ish -- picture frame. There is a large hole that corresponds to the current iPad's home button, at the bottom of the tablet. On the opposite side is a much smaller hole that 9t05Mac labels a camera hole, which "happens to fit perfectly with the iPad 2 screen protectors from our friends in Asia."

But Wired.com isn't so sure. "I see a small hole up top, but that's the exact same hole I have in my current iPad, to let the ambient-light sensor see out," writes Charlie Sorrel. Perhaps they can peek through the same hole, or perhaps the light sensor has been ditched, as it doesn't really work so well (not on my iPad, anyway).

9to5Mac somewhat confusedly says this smaller hole is "in addition to the ambient light sensor found on the top" of the current iPad. But that implies two holes, when only one is visible in the supplied photograph.

Apple's struggles with the white iPhone 4 model have become legendary, though the company has said almost nothing about the actual reasons why the model has been delayed at least twice.

A white iPhone was spotted "in the wild" last fall at a technology news conference, and the unidentified user claimed that Apple had boxes of them stacked at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. The company line has been consistently that the white iPhones "have continued to be more challenging to manufacture than we originally expected."

John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World.

Twitter: http://twitter.com/johnwcoxnww

E-mail: john_cox@nww.com

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