Apple debuts iPhone 4 to long lines, but white version is MIA

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) fans across the globe lined up overnight to get their hands on the iPhone 4, the company's latest incarnation of its popular smartphone, and analysts predicted the vendor would have another boffo opening day.

Apple’s white iPhone 4 won’t be available until later next month.Hundreds of eager customers lined up at Apple stores from Japan to Europe to New York City for early morning store openings. "It's like the olden days of waiting in line for tickets to a rock concert," one customer, John Whalen, told Bloomberg as he waited outside an Apple store in Portland, Maine. "There isn't anything I wait in line for other than the technology releases from Apple."

Apple said it rang up more than 600,000 pre-orders for the device, which features a faster processor, new design, front-facing camera and video-calling feature and a new version of Apple's operating system, iOS. BGC analyst Colin Gillis expects Apple to break a sales record and sell more than 1 million iPhones in one day. Analysts expect Apple to ship between 8 and 9 million iPhones in the current quarter, which ends Saturday.

The launch, which has become an annual ritual for Apple, has not been without some hiccups. AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T), Apple's U.S. wireless carrier partner, said customers who did not pre-order the iPhone 4 last week will not be able to pick up the smartphone at AT&T's retail stores and online until June 29--an action that could drive traffic to Apple's stores and other retail outlets, like Best Buy and Wal-Mart, that are selling the phone. Apple also said that, due to unspecified manufacturing issues, it will not sell a white version of the iPhone 4 until the second half of July.

Additionally, numerous reports have begun filtering in about a potential problem with the device's antenna system, which is a stainless-steel band wrapping around the phone. Customers have reported that the phone's cellular signal disappears when they touch the device's antenna in a certain way, according to Wired. An Apple spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the issue.

For more:
- see this Reuters article
- see this CNN Money article
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Reuters article
- see this NYT blog post
- see this Wired article

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